Have you thought of going on a cruise, but are apprehensive about crowds, mediocre service and feeling trapped? The idea of taking a cruise radically transforms when you focus on smaller, intimate ships. They allow you to visit more destinations and stay longer in more interesting ports. There is also a higher guest-to-staff ratio, which means far more attentive and highly personalized service.
We recently completed a voyage from Venice to Rome with Azamara Club Cruises on the Azamara Journey. The ship is newly refurbished, and with a capacity of about 700, it takes cruising to a different level. The smaller size allows it to dock at ports where larger ships cannot. The itinerary, which hit spots like Dubrovnik, Kotor (Montenegro), Corfu and Taormina, was spectacular and included longer stays in each destination (sometimes as late as 11:00 pm), allowing us to take a deeper dive into the surroundings and enjoy ourselves at a relaxed pace. Best of all, we never encountered lines or crowds on the ship. The staff was thoughtful and courteous and the crew made you feel like part of a family. And the food: not only temptingly omnipresent, but varied and of the highest quality. With all of the amenities of a boutique hotel and the attention to detail, we were treated to a luxury travel experience from the moment we stepped on board.
Azamara delighted us with both the expected: an extravagant “White Nights” party on the pool deck with fresh seafood purchased in port, and the unexpected: a tenor singing Opera classics live as we departed from Sorrento.
If you are a seasoned cruiser looking for something different or if you have considered cruising, but desire something more intimate and relaxing, please contact us for details. We would be happy to share more of our memorable experience!
All photos by Insider Voyages