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The Crew and Officers were Azamazing


Having left the wonderful unseasonable sunshine of the UK we arrived in Lisbon for a three-night stay before joining Azamara Pursuit. Lisbon is a fascinating city but sadly on this occasion the sun did not follow us from the UK and Lisbon was rather grey and very wet.




Sky Princess, Silver Moon and Azamara Pursuit were lined up in port. We were due to sail on the Pursuit.


Azamara arrival procedure was surprisingly simple and effortless, following covid testing we waited for 20 minutes for results and were checked in straight away. New procedures for the safety briefing were also in place. Having been welcomed onboard by officers and crew we were taken straight to our muster station and small groups were given instructions. Given the fact that boarding was staggered, we were the only two in our group and were given our personal briefing and escorted to our cabin.



Our cabin just under the bridge, overlooking the bow had a great position. Initial impressions were that the cabin although small in size was perfectly formed, as was the bijou bathroom.


View from our Stateroom


This year Azamara Pursuit came of age reaching the wonderful age of 21. She was the last of the R-class ships built for Renaissance Cruises and entered service in 2001, however, her service with Renaissance was short-lived when the company filed for bankruptcy in late 2001 and she was ceased by creditors and laid up in Marseille. In 2003 she became the sole ship in Swan Hellenic’s fleet and sailed as Minerva II. Four years late in 2007 she was transferred to Princess Cruises and became Royal Princess. In 2009 a major fire broke out in the engine room, disabling her.


P&O Adona with the distinctive yellow funnel now sails as Azamara Pursuit


The following year she was transferred to P&O Cruises and was renamed “Adonia”. She then did a short spell under a new brand name for Carnival Corporation “Fathom” and became the first US cruise ship to sail into Cuba. Continuing her checked career, she

re-joined P&O Cruises until it was announced by P&O in 2017 that she was to be retired


In 2018 she was purchased by Azamara Club Cruises and sailed to Belfast where she underwent a major refit at Harland and Wolff shipyard transforming her into the little beauty that she is today. From observation, the hull of the ship shows a little sign of her age but once you step onboard you are immediately wowed by the elegant luxury county house feel she delivers, even down to the fireplaces in The Den and

The Drawing Room.



Exploring the ship, we found Windows Café where afternoon teas and snacks were being served. First off, the tea served was good, always a good sign for a tea swilling Brit. And if the snacks and cakes were a sample of things to come, we were in for a real treat.


Windows Cafe - Sunset Veranda



Our initial impressions on boarding Azamara Pursuit were spot on. The experience onboard just keeps getting better and better. Everyone you speak to about Azamara says the same thing. It is the crew that makes the cruise and they are absolutely right.


On arrival at the terminal building, the first officer to approach us was Lee, the assistant cruise director who welcomed us to Azamara. This was rather weird as l had just been reading some of his posts on

Facebook "Azamara Reminiscing"

the night before embarkation.


Assistant Cruise Director Lee


Ramesh our stateroom attendant was waiting for us at our Club Stateroom. He made us feel like we were the most important guests on the ship when he welcomed us and explained the in's and out's of the cabin, yes to an old seadog it will always be a cabin.


Sailaway from Lisbon

Every crew member you pass has a smile, abate from behind a mask at the moment, but the eyes are as welcoming as the greeting. Having made our way up onto the pool deck for Sailaway, Edwin the Head Housekeeper came over to welcome us. Edwin is originally from Goa, Having worked for P&O in the 1970’s I sailed with Goan crew members and always found them a very warm and friendly nation. Edwin was no exception with his warm welcome and interesting conversation about international cuisines and Goan family life.



The welcome we received from the Captain at the top, down to the utility steward cleaning the brass bannisters on the companionways was always friendly and welcoming and we really felt that we were part of the Azamara Family. Captain Antonio was a breath of fresh air, with his witty remarks and announcements, different from any Captain l sailed with. He even retrieve my hat for me when it took flight during very windy disembarkation in Valencia.


Captain Antonio Toledo


You cannot move onboard without food becoming a focal point. Breakfast in the main dining room “Discoveries” is a bit different from the norm. Although if the norm is your bag, you just have to ask. But I was intrigued by some slightly different offerings. A Japanese style omelette turned out to be more like a thin pancake, with fried rice and chicken. It was just right for a light breakfast. On another occasion I ordered eggs benedict, I think you can test the skill of the kitchen by their poached eggs and they were perfectly cooked just as ordered. Not sure what I will have next time, but I am sure it will be something different. Freshly squeezed orange juice is always available for breakfast and of course, depends on the oranges. Being in Spain l expected the best, but to be truthful it has been a little on the sharp side. Walking around Saville I was tempted to reach up and pick my own oranges for squeezing. But was informed by a tour guide that the oranges grown on the streets are for their fragrant blossom and visual appeal and are really sour to taste.


Each evening on Azamara Pursuit the dining room serves dishes from various cuisines of the world, there is also a new choice of dishes each evening along with some standard dishes that appear every evening. I must admit that l have been tempted by the Tahitian vanilla bean Cream Brulee on more than one occasion. Like poached eggs, I also judge a kitchen by its Cream Brulee, again exceptionally well executed.



When you least expect it a little treat will arrive, be it a fruit skewer whilst lying around the pool to the tapas and glass of Sangria that was passed around as we sailed from Saville passing through the very narrow bridge on the river Guadalquivir, the only navigable river in Spain.


The restaurant crew, like all the crew members, excel in their friendliness and willingness to please. Each evening a red and white wine is on offer with dinner, however, if your desire is a slightly wider choice you can upgrade to a drinks package. As my vacation preference is for the odd glass of champagne, it is well worth it as a couple of glasses and you are in pocket.


One evening halfway through the cruise I had an interesting conversation with Bar Manager Dejana, who prior to Azamara had worked on Princess and was intrigued to find out about my early days of Princess and working on “The Love Boat”. The next evening her head barman wanted to hear all about “The Love Boat”. It was the TV programme that had inspired him to work at sea when he was a teenager in his native Trinidad and Tobago. The Love Boat is Born



Azamara Senior Offi


The weather when we arrived in Gibraltar was pretty appalling as we walked from the ship up to St Michaels's caves on “The Rock”. The weather picked up a bit in the afternoon but the discission had already been taken to move the White Night party from the deck to inside venues. Of course, this is really not the same as having a deck party.


For the first time on the cruise, we decided to dine in the Windows Café as that was where the Spanish style food was. I must say we normally steer clear of the buffet for dinner as we prefer full sit down service, however, we were very pleasantly surprised. The dishes were on display and presented on arrival, from then onward normal restaurant service was resumed and the food was cooked fresh to order. It appeared that most passengers had decided to use the Discovery Restaurant as the Windows Café was pretty deserted for the time we were there. Service as always was excellent. Lenard our excellent waiter from The Aqualina Restaurant of the previous evening was even present to ensure we enjoyed our evening. Another little Azamara Difference.




The White Night Party on Azamara Pursuit.


Moving down to the Cabaret Lounge for the White Night Party, was not quite the same as dancing under the stars, nether the less the cruise staff and entertainers did a great job of trying to recreate the deck atmosphere. However, can’t wait for our next Azamara Cruise to experience the White Party on deck - Weather Willing.



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4 Comments


2kabarton
2kabarton
Apr 17, 2022

Happy to have read this very positive trip report as I'm sailing aboard AZAMARA PURSUIT for 16-nights - Rio de Janeiro to Lisbon - in March, 2023.

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Salty Seadog
Salty Seadog
Apr 17, 2022
Replying to

You will love it. It was our first trip with Azamara, but i am sure it will be the first of many.


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Princess has only had Two Royal Princess ship's . this ship was never called Royal Princess. I flew to Helsinki to inspect crew quarters in 1985 and the only other Royal Princess just recently joined the fleet a few years ago with Kate christening her in Southampton.

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Salty Seadog
Salty Seadog
Apr 07, 2022
Replying to

Hi David. Thanks for your comments. I got the following information from Wikipedia and also from www.ship-technology.com

Royal Princess – Cruise Liner The Royal Princess is a cruise ship owned and operated by Princess Cruises. Originally built by Chantiers de l'Atlan

Type Cruise ship Maiden voyage 2001 Passenger decks 8 Passenger cabins 355 Expand

The Royal Princess will be named the Adonia in 2011. A Princess Cruises’ casino. The Movies Under the Stars outdoor theatre. The Royal Princess will be named the Adonia in 2011.

The Royal Princess is a cruise ship owned and operated by Princess Cruises. Originally built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique for Renaissance Cruises, it entered service as the R Eight in 2001. The R Eight was laid up in late 2001 after Renaissance Cruises filed for bankruptcy.…

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