Overall a very enjoyable cruise.
What we like about Azamara ....the friendly crew/ officers, the small ship atmosphere, the food, the Living Room and The Den with good live music....it was all there on this South Africa Intensive itinerary.
The azamazing evening was at the Cape Town City Hall. There were plenty of drinks and dessert canapés to try and a very good performance by the Philharmonic orchestra plus a lot of fun provided by the Cape Minstrels! We also found it quite amusing that once again being in a Deck 6 verandah cabin put us on the last/almost last bus.....?
We did notice a significant number of entitled, complaining and not very pleasant people onboard this cruise, a completely different type of passenger than our Azamara cruise in the Med a few months earlier. This also had an impact on the White night with people hogging tables from 5pm, so we watched the crew wave and then ate in Discoveries.
The included beverages still disappoint...the choice is very limited...but the complimentary wines on this cruise were a big step up as they had brought onboard a good number of South African wines which were all very drinkable.
The mosaic cafe was always busy, although the coffee could be very variable depending on who was making it!
The meals in Discoveries were almost all good and the food was of a high standard. Service was good but they did, however, let themselves down spectacularly on the last night. We went down for dinner at 8 pm as usual to find total chaos...they had not anticipated (why?) that after a full day sightseeing in Cape Town followed by the need to pack for the following mornings disembarkation that no one would be ready to dine early. Apparently the dining room was deserted until 7.30 and then was absolutely inundated. Not only did we have to wait until 9.15 for a table, we then were served by the rudest waiter we have ever encountered on over 30 cruises. The food was practically thrown onto the table. Totally unacceptable.
One night we celebrated a birthday at Prime C and had a really delicious meal, and we were given a great table too.
Cabin 6062. The room was comfortable but the decor is starting to look a little tatty in places and the balcony is in poor condition, especially the flooring. When we first got to our room the balcony had obviously not been cleaned for some considerable time so we had to ask for that to be done. Given the large premium that Azamara are charging for a balcony cabin over the cost of an ocean view, the cleaning of this area should be routine and should not have to be requested.
If you are contemplating booking this South Africa itinerary it is essential that you research and book shore excursions..either privately or through the ship. Apart from Cape Town, it is not safe to just walk off the ship at any of the ports and there is honestly nothing to see if you did. There were a lot of disappointed people on board who had not realised this.
At Port Elizabeth we prebooked a full day tour to Addo Elephant National Park through Alan’s tours....what an incredible day!
At Richards Bay we prebooked a tour to St Lucia wetlands through ecsafaris....it was slightly disorganised but we did see hippos, which was the main reason for taking the trip.
At Durban we joined a cruise critic roll call city tour, which was quite poor mainly because of the guide, but we still enjoyed ourselves.
At East London we couldn’t find a tour we liked so we just took advantage of the shuttle bus provided to a shopping mall to get us off the ship for a couple of hours. It was extremely hot, the busses were very old with no air con. We should really have stayed on the ship....Not sure why Azamara even stop here!
Cape Town is, of course, the highlight of this cruise. We had 3 days in the city prior to embarkation staying at the Portswood Hotel, in addition to the 2 days overnighting at the end of the cruise. We had a spectacular day for going up Table Mountain, visited the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens, took a very well organised and great value day tour through Citysightseeing to Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope and the penguins at Boulders Bay. We also took another good day tour through Citysightseeing to Stellenbosch wineries and Franschhoek as well as spending time around the V&A waterfront area. A really great city!
We combined this cruise with an extended stay in Cape Town beforehand and a 3 day safari in Madikwe Game Reserve afterwards. It was a bucket list trip and we had an amazing time.