Azamara Journey Cruise Blog Day 1
(c) Janet Welsh, Senior Luxury Cruise Consultant
Early but quick check in at the BA desk at Gatwick North Terminal as British Airways day staff start at 5am and all check in desks were open, unlike Easyjet which were totally overwhelmed with queues.
I was through security very quickly and immediately made my way to the Number 1 Traveller Lounge. This is a brand new addition to the lounge facilities at Gatwick and by far the best that I have experienced. The excellent facilities included a lounge, restaurant, rest area, cinema, snooker hall, spa, business centre and a children's area. All the staff were very pleasant and I sat and enjoyed an early breakfast while looking over the runway watching the airport start to wake up.
The flight to Rome was very easy but the chaos that greeted us as we proceeded through the airport had to be seen. Most of this was passengers for other cruise lines trying to establish the procedure for them to be relieved of their luggage and transferred by their respective cruise lines to their ship at Civitavecchia. A very stressful time and a perfect example of the benefit of taking a private transfer!
We arrived at the beautiful Azamara Journey to check in and were on board within 10 minutes - all very professional.
A glass of sparkling wine to greet us and we were able to go immediately to our staterooms, our luggage arrived soon after.
After unpacking, I made my way to the Windows Buffet Restaurant for a late lunch. I was immediately impressed with the friendliness of all the staff I encountered. The cheerful 'good afternoon' and 'welcome on board' was effortless and genuine, a credit to Azamara Club Cruises.
First impressions of the food onboard Azamara Journey were very good, all freshly prepared and attractively presented with plenty of choice.
I then took the opportunity of a few minutes to relax by the pool before the mandatory lifeboat drill. Apparently it is no longer necessary to take your life jacket with you so this obligatory safety procedure took place effortlessly.
Shortly after I joined the other guests on deck to enjoy our sailaway. I was talking to a couple who were on their very first cruise and I was envious of all the exciting and interesting times that they would enjoy. You can never repeat your first cruise experience!
After a quick change for dinner our group were invited to the Library for cocktails and canapés together with a short introduction from the Captain, Cruise Director and other officers.
We then had dinner in Windows, this time the selection was even greater than at lunch and I enjoyed watching the Chef prepare Risotto for me while explaining the best rice to use and timings - very impressive.
Following dinner we made our way to the Cabaret Theatre for the first of many excellent shows onboard Azamara Journey. This one included a brief overview of the various acts and artists that we will see more of as the cruise progresses, and on first impressions we are in for some very entertaining evenings.
It was not long after that I retired to bed after a tiring but happy day, but not before I had made my order for breakfast to be served on my balcony - such luxury!
(c) Janet Welsh