Penny Leonhardt had the opportunity to experience the beauty of the Adriatic and gorgeous Grecian ports aboard Azamara Club Cruises. This cruise line prides themselves on a destination intensive experience for their guests. This particular voyage was no different. It included exploring the unforgettable backdrop of Amalfi’s seaside setting, indulging in Sicilian cuisine and visiting Taormina for historic landmarks and excursions to nearby Mount Etna.
What did you enjoy most about the Azamara cruise experience?
I especially enjoyed sailing on a ship, Azamara Journey, that holds 690 passengers. It was very easy getting on and off the ship.
Tell us about the cities you visited with this itinerary.
I sailed from Piraeus to Mykonos (beautiful white buildings with blue doors and blue and red domed churches), Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Rhodes (pottery and beautiful beaches), Santorini (Oia village with charming houses in narrow streets), Sicily (Taormina, a hilltop town near to Mt. Etna), Amalfi (sheer cliffs and a rugged shoreline dotted with small beaches and pastel-colored fishing villages) then disembarked in Rome.
What shore excursions did you go on? Which ones would you recommend?
I thoroughly enjoyed the Azamazing Evening in Ephesus. This is an included event that was held at the Odeon in Ephesus. As dusk turns to night, an orchestra of eight offers its haunting sounds into the acoustic shell of this great archeological wonder. Movements of Bach, Mozart, Brahms and others saturate the night. It was absolutely magical.
Did you do any pre/post activities?
Before the cruise I stayed two nights in Athens before boarding the ship in Piraeus. Having never been to Athens before I just had to see the Acropolis, Parthenon and Mars hill. When I disembarked I stayed in Rome for three nights. So much to see there! The Pantheon, Vatican City and Trevi Fountain were on my list.
What did you like most about the cruise line?
- Smaller groups (25 or less) on each shore excursion
- Being a smaller ship (690 guests) it was easy-breezy to get off and on the ship. The Captain was always at the tender station wishing us a good day.
- There was NEVER a crowd in the Window Café or in the Cabaret Lounge. There was always plenty of seating.
- I loved White Night! One evening onboard ship dinner is held out on deck (weather permitting). If is very festive when everyone wears white. They offer an awesome buffet with live music and dancing. My backdrop was Santorini. Doesn’t get much better than that!
- Late night stays (some itineraries with overnight) in many ports.
Did you do any shopping or specialty dining on board the ship?
I was not impressed with the shops onboard the ship. Pretty much everything they sold was very high end. The food is very good and the waitstaff was very accommodating.
*The above mentioned cruise supplier gifted this cruise as an educational opportunity in order for our travel professional to critique for your review.