Dear Larry Pimentel,
I have been wracking my brain to come up with the superlative of "WOW" and even that doesn't begin to express the incredible experience of Azamara. I could go on for pages, but will just touch on a few overall impressions....
1) The Azamara Journey was filled with Very Happy Guests - many of them multiple repeaters - which speaks volumes for a cruise line that is so young. Many people noted the continuing improvements over the past year - the complimentary coffee at the Mosaic Cafe being a big one. Pettus and I kept our ears and eyes open and we did not hear a single criticism - not even one - in fact quite the opposite - everyone was overflowing with compliments on everything - the ship itself, the food, the spa, the activities, the crew...which brings me to -
2) The Azamara Journey was filled with Happy Crew - from the superlative officers and charming Captain to the lowliest seaman wielding a paint brush, they were a genuinely happy bunch (which probably accounts for point 1 above.) Not only were they cheerful and pleasant to guests - but to each other, with pleases and thank you's to colleagues, gentle joking around with each other and always working as a well oiled professional team. Pettus and I were particularly impressed with not only the very friendly accessibility and visibility of the Captain, but all the officers - and not just for the usual obligatory one time Welcome Reception/photo op one gets on most ships, but throughout the cruise - scooping ice cream, playing ping pong, sharing lunch and generally circulating throughout the ship on a daily basis.
3) Extraordinary food and wine. Everyone was buzzing about the delicious menus! The Best of the Best Dinner was one of the most amazing dinners I have ever had (and I have had a few!)
4) The elegance and flow of the ship. Here were so many lovely welcoming spaces scattered around the ship - the Drawing Room, The Looking Glass, The Mosaic Cafe, the staircases, the seating areas around the pool in addition to the usual lounges - and never a wait for an elevator, an omelet at Windows or a computer in the internet room. There were lots of little touches to add to the ambiance - the blue doors of the cabins, the quality and quantity of excellent artwork, the cozy fireplaces with Staffordshire dogs on the mantels, the murals and painted ceilings....
Needless to say, the report going out to all my Brownell Associates and clients will be a glowing one! Pettus and I have sailed with many cruise lines including SeaDream (a tough act to follow!) and Silversea through the gamut of Celebrity, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, Princess and Norwegian and without a doubt Azamara has zoomed to the top of our list with excellent value, brilliant ships and crew and great itineraries.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to experience Azamara - and for your vision and leadership along with your entire team both ashore and at sea, which has made Azamara a truly extraordinary product.
With best regards,
Ellen LeCompte, CTA
Independent Associate of Sterling Brownell Travel
Member of Virtuoso and the Tzell Travel Group
TRAVEL+LEISURE Top Agent Award 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010