Cruising from Singapore to Sydney aboard the Azamara Journey

By Lindy Laird

Lindy Laird cruises aboard the Azamara Journey from Singapore to Sydney.
The Azamara Journey. Photo / Roderick Eime, Creative Commons
The Azamara Journey. Photo / Roderick Eime, Creative Commons

The owners: Azamara Club Cruises, a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean.

This is one of the biggest cruising companies in the world, so you'd be right to expect a polished performance.

Flag: Malta.

How big: A fair-old size. She's 180m long, 25m wide, with nine decks, and weighs 30,277 tonnes.

How old? The Azamara Journey was launched in 2000 and refurbished in 2016. She's in good condition.

How many passengers? Not too crowded - 686 maximum.

Destinations? Worldwide.

Cruise length: Mine was a lengthy 18 days. But the ship runs with a variety of itineraries. Plenty to choose from.

Cabins: There are 355 staterooms in several categories, including 209 balcony rooms and six wheelchair-accessible cabins.

Food: This is one of the Azamara line's key offerings. The ship Discoveries Restaurant (a la carte); Pool Grill, Windows Cafe (buffet with indoor seating and outdoor terraces), Aqualina (specialty dinner restaurant with Mediterranean cuisine), Prime C (dinner-only restaurant with seafood and steakhouse menu; operates at surcharge), bar tapas, cafe and cakes.

Entertainment: All sorts from spectacular, cabaret mini-shows, a resident eight-piece orchestra, guest musicians and a resident DJ. The wide range of onboard activities includes talks by experts on topics relevant to the locale, trivia quizzes, a guests' choir, model ship building, water-colour painting, bridge lessons and much more.

Facilities: There's Wi-Fi throughout, although it's an expensive package, a TV in every room, library, several lounge areas, plenty of outdoor relaxing space, self-service laundry, gym, spa, medical unit, concierge and guest relations desk, and one shop selling everything from designer clothes and expensive jewellery to plasters.

Service: Excellent, friendly service across the board, from senior crew to serving staff.

Shore tours: Plenty on offer, but be warned - they can be pricey.

What's great about this ship? It's 'boutique' size and it's friendly crew.

What's not so great? A slightly small swimming pool, and bad news for the smokers, there's only one smoking area.

Ideal for: Cruisers in the over-40 demographic and travellers who don't want to be hemmed in by thousands of fellow passengers, or surrounded by too many shops or excessive dining options.

- NZ Herald

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