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Azamara Club Cruises: 4 Things You Need To Know

June 1, 2023
- By Edge of Wonder Travels Unlimited

There are really a few different types of cruises out there… So many, in fact, that we wrote a whole blog post about them all just to try and give you an overall look at the options.

One is what we referred to as the “mid-sized luxury” – these are the cruises that aren’t so small that you couldn’t even get your entire Facebook friends list on the manifest (not that you’d necessarily want to!), but aren’t so large that you feel like you’re in a floating town. Azamara falls into this category. They have three ships currently: the Quest, Journey, and the Pursuit that they launched in 2018.

Historically, they’ve had an older Boomer generation crowd, but that’s been shifting and there are more GenX-ers and even Millennials getting onboard. Azamara isn’t really geared for families with children, so you usually won’t encounter them.

Here are some of the key things we love about Azamara and hopefully it’ll help you decide if they might be a good fit for your next trip!

Oh, and don’t forget that if you book your next cruise with us, we can often extend additional perks to your bookings and will ensure you have the best possible price – even checking and rechecking price shifts after you book in case an offer is made that would lower your cost prior to travel…

1. Destination Immersion Focus

Azamara makes a point of highlighting their focus on country-intensive, immersive experiences. They are a small enough ship that they’re able to actually dock in most ports (no tendering!) and they spend more overnights or stay longer than the typical big ship will. Their shore excursions are also kept as small groups so you can have more personal interaction with the locals who lead the tours. Many of the excursions are much more experience-oriented than sightseeing. For example, on my last Azamara cruise, I did a fantastic excursion where we were taken to the local fish market to watch the actual bidding by chefs from local restaurants on the catches that came in that day followed by a cooking class where we got to meet one of the best local chefs in the area and sample some of the very fish we saw in the auction. It was fascinating and REALLY tasty.

2. Azamara’s Unique Features

Aside from the immersive approach (which they really excel at), these are two other things that have stood out about Azamara:

AzAmazing Evenings
As Azamara describes it, their AzAmazing Evenings are where they take their dedication to destination immersion to the next level. One night on each cruise (with a few exceptions), they offer an included excursion which aims to deliver yet another authentic, local experience to further put you in touch with the destination and its people. Each private, bespoke AzAmazing Evenings event delivers authentic travel moments that bring you closer to your destination, its culture and its people. For example, we got to sit and experience The Three Tenors in a theatre in Italy reserved exclusively for our cruise. One of my clients said their favorite experience with Azamara so far was in Ephesus where they were treated to an Aegean Chamber Orchestra concert in the same amphitheater the ancient Ephesians used. Wow.

White Night
One of the things I appreciate about Azamara is their more casual approach – no official “formal nights” (translation: no need to figure out how to pack an evening gown into your suitcase), but instead, they have what they refer to as a “White Night”. The only condition: you have to wear white. Of course they encourage you to wear ALL white, if you show up only wearing SOME white, they won’t kick you out. The food is amazing, the crew (including the officers onboard ship) serve, and there’s singing and dancing. Essentially, it’s just a really fun party.

3. Inclusions

Another way Azamara stands out is with what they include in their fares. Sure, you might pay a little more upfront, but you do away with the nickel-and-diming onboard.

Of course there are exceptions, but in general, here’s everything you can expect to see included in your Azamara cruise fare:

  • Complimentary AzAmazing Evenings® event (on most voyages)
  • Gratuities (except for the spa)
  • Select standard spirits, international beers and wines
  • Bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas
  • Self-service laundry
  • Shuttle service to and from port communities, where available
  • Concierge services for personal guidance and reservations

If you’re booked in a Verandah Plus stateroom, you also get:

  • 120 complimentary Internet minutes per guest
  • One free bag of laundry service per stateroom, each seven days
  • One night of complimentary specialty dining for two, each seven days
  • Priority embarkation and debarkation
  • Complimentary in-room spirits

And then if you book yourself in Suite, you can add on:

  • English butler service
  • 240 complimentary Internet minutes per guest
  • One free bag of laundry service per suite, each seven days
  • Complimentary seating in the specialty restaurants dining
  • Priority embarkation and debarkation
  • Complimentary in-room spirits
  • In-suite afternoon tea service
  • $300 in Onboard Credit per person (Club World Owner’s Suites, Club Ocean Suites, Club Spa Suites categories only)

Inclusions as of the posting date. Subject to change by Azamara.

What’s NOT included? Well, in general, Wi-Fi is extra. As are spa treatments and shore excursions. There are also a couple of specialty dining restaurants onboard with a cover charge of just $30 per person (but the food is so good elsewhere on the ship, you could totally forego the specialty dining and never feel like you missed anything!)

4. Accommodation Options

With Azamara’s size, they are able to provide a wider range of stateroom categories than smaller cruises which is great because it means that, no matter what your budget, you can more thank likely find something that’s going to fit yet still give you a more upscale experience than the mass market cruise ships will.

Azamara ships really are like staying in a boutique hotel (as opposed to a giant resort), and even the inside staterooms have that boutique-yet-higher-end feel to them.

They offer Inside, Oceanview, and Verandah staterooms (Verandah Plus staterooms coming in 2020), and four different types of Suites.

You really can’t go wrong.

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