France, Spain & Portugal with Azamara

Susan Entringer

Susan Entringer

Advisor Stories / Susan Entringer / France, Spain & Portugal with Azamara

Azamara Cruises takes you deeper, off the beaten path and into the cities you want to explore the most. You're sure to be fully immersed both in the famous destinations and the hidden gems within these cities with exclusive events found only with Azamara.

The best part is the way in which you get to these magnificent explorations – via a floating boutique hotel with entertainment, fine dining and fantastic opportunities onboard to allow you to unwind in between each port.

Susan Entringer - one of Bon Voyage Travel's best and most well-traveled advisors - recently enjoyed an authentic, immersive Azamara Cruise through the Mediterranean's most famous ports.

Tell us about the cities you visited.

Our ship provided courtesy shuttles directly to the city center for easy walking and self exploration. Traditional cobbled, winding streets filled with shops, cafes, restaurants, cathedrals, churches and museums were just some of the many explorations along the way. Bordeaux and Porto are river front cities, used by Viking, AmaWaterways and Scenic for their French or Douro river cruises.

What shore excursions did you go on?

  • Bilbao-Guggenheim Museum and City Tour
  • Bilbao-AzAmazing Evening Event
  • Basque Music Concert & Dancing at Chocolate Box Theater
  • Lisbon-Sintra/Cascais located 30 miles outside of the city.
  • Sintra is a mountaintop with a famous palace city center. Cascais is oceanside with fabulous beaches and famous black and white tiled streets. All other cities we traveled independently on walking style tours.

Did you do any pre- or post-cruise activities?

Pre-cruise we went to the Beaumont Hotel. This hotel is in an excellent location with outstanding service and is newly built – designed to look like 920’s Art Deco.

What are your top 3 pieces of advice for someone going on a similar trip?

  1. Be ready for potentially rouch seas in Bay of Biscay.
  2. Enjoy all the local wines served on board (included with Azamara).
  3. Allow extra time in Lisbon (pre or post) as there are many sights and dining options not to be missed.

What did you like most about Azamara Cruises?

I enjoy the small ship size, outstanding service and attention to detail from the staff, plus the inclusion of drinks and gratuities and the complimentary AzAmazing Evening Event.

What are 3 things one can expect from this cruise line?

  1. Friendly staff, anxious to help in any way.
  2. Nice array of shore tour options at a reasonable cost.
  3. Limited (if any) children – there are no facilities on board for kids.

Did you do any shopping or specialty dining on board?

Yes! Azamara offers traditional jewelry and other merchandise on board that I took advantage of. I also enjoyed the delicious food at Prime C & Aqualina.

If you were to plan this trip again, would you do anything differently?

I would spend more time in the departure and arrival ports before and after the cruise. Although Azamara Cruises spends more time in port and has more overnights than any other cruise line, taking advantage of the extra days in some of the world's most famous cities would be worthwhile.

Contact Susan about this vacation

Pictures from this trip