A revamped ship with reimagined itineraries, the Azamara Journey is both serene and stylish. Farida Zeynalova spends a weekend cruising the Mediterranean
The Azamara Journey feels like the lovechild of a members-only country club, and a modern-day Titanic. I’m met with Champagne as I step onto the newly revamped ship, leaving Gibraltar, the UK territory on the southern tip of Spain, heading towards Palma de Mallorca via Alicante.
Along with its sister ship, Azamara Quest, the Journey underwent a transformation earlier this year. The palatial stairway leads up to the vessel’s 345 staterooms, and 46 club suites. After dawdling in the impressive lobby, I head up to my Club Continent suite.
It’s a comfortably sized room with an en-suite bathroom, a flat-screen TV, minibar with complimentary drinks and, most appreciated after a sleepless flight, Egyptian-cotton bedding. After exploring the room, I quaff my second complimentary glass of Champagne and scurry out for a tour.
The ship feels luxurious, without being ostentatious. The newly installed and lavish Club Spa Suite is equipped with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, a spacious glass-enclosed bathtub and a rain shower, complete with an in-room spa and tinkly music.
Wi-fi is available throughout the ship through pre-paid packages, as well as self-service laundry, shoe-shining and concierge services.
The pool, pleasantly child-free with a waiter-service bar, glistens in the balmy Gibraltar sun. Selected spirits, beers and wines are included within the price of all packages, as are hot and cold beverages.
The piña colada goes down a treat, and so does lunch at poolside café The Patio.
Azamara Journey is a foodie’s dream. Its five eateries, include contemporary Italian at Aqualina and Prime C, which dishes up delectable seafood and steaks. Waiters are attentive and the wine is exquisite. Evenings offer ample entertainment without the over-the-top showiness so common on big ships. There is live music and cocktails at the elegant Cabaret Lounge and European-style Casino for those who feel lucky.
The following morning I head to the newly opened Sanctum Spa for a truly indulgent experience, featuring a private spa deck with its own saltwater whirlpool. A butler brings a strawberry daiquiri as we sail towards Alicante, and there’s nobody else in sight.
The ship new’s destination focussed itineraries include more overnights stays and longer time on land, so whether you want to spend hours exploring a new city, or spend a Sunday on deck in the sun, the Azamara Journey is worth the splash.
Cabin size: 158-560sq ft
Top selling tip: Club atmosphere with longer stays at ports