Everything was seamless and professional. I've never experienced a cruise before that was so easy and relaxed. I really appreciated no lines; No lines to get on the ship, disembark at ports, at dinner, or at the buffet. And the never-ending glass of wine with dinner was wonderful. My cousin and I met the nicest people, and we became friends with a couple who had a suite, so we had several cocktail parties in their suite stateroom, very nicely prepared by their butler.
The size of the ship was perfect! And it really restored my love of cruises, as it was similar to the more refined cruise atmosphere I used to love in the 80's. The port experiences was outstanding!!! Who knew Malta was such a great place! We thoroughly enjoyed ALL our ports of call in Santorini, Malta, Sicily and our 2 days in Sorrento. It most cases we were the first ship in port each day, and we were always the last one to leave. The port times really does make for a true immersion experience. I felt sorry for all the other cruise lines guests that would hurry their shopping or relaxing to make it back to their ships by 5pm. But to our benefit it really paid off, and we stayed in the towns late and really had the place to ourselves. It was great!
The onboard staff was wonderful, with only one minor issue with a food server who brought us our breakfast tray, but no need to get in to that. You had a special talent onboard named Lloyd Ziel, and I must say he is one of the most naturally talented and funniest men I've ever met. What a gem! He even helped the shore excursion girls in the morning and kept us entertained while we waited for our shore tours to depart. I had the chance to speak to him while we were in Sorrento, and he told me that he aspires to be a cruise director. He fell in love with cruising because of Azamara, and loves working on the Journey. I don't know if you have ever met him, but he is certainly worth a serious look. I believe he was a huge asset to the Azamara experience.
Last week I had a client contact Wings about a Med cruise for next June, and although he had another cruise line in mind, I shared my Azamara experience with him and he was so intrigued he ask that I put everything in an email to him so he could share it with 3 or 4 couples who would be joining them. I called him again today, and they are seriously reviewing the details for both ships. I even added up the port hours as each itinerary was VERY similar with the same number of nights. The other ship had 7 ports and 73.5 hours, and Azamara had 9 ports with a total of 114 hours! That alone should sell it - 2 extra ports and 20+ extra hours.
I'm so glad I took this cruise, because as with anything - it's far easier to sell a product you experience and one that you truly enjoy AND are excited about.
Thank you for the opportunity to sail with Azamara, and I really appreciated the upgrade to a balcony stateroom. The views in port were amazing. We enjoyed our breakfast on the verandah as we looked at the awesome scenery..... it was just lovely!!!
You can count me as a huge fan!
Thanks again for a wonderful vacation!
Sue Stechman, Wings Travel Group
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