Azamara Club Cruises

Overall Editor Rating

Fodor’s Expert Review

Cruise StylePremium
Ship SizeMidsize

In a surprise move parent company Royal Caribbean International announced the formation of an all-new, deluxe cruise line in 2007. Two vessels originally slated for service in the Celebrity Cruises fleet, which were built for now-defunct Renaissance Cruises and acquired with the purchase of the Spanish cruise line Pullmantur, were the basis for the new line, Azamara Club Cruises. Designed to offer exotic destination-driven itineraries, Azamara Club Cruises presents a more intimate onboard experience while allowing access to the less traveled ports of call experienced travelers want to visit.Read More

When a cruise line sets a course to break the mold in an industry where the product falls into traditional categories—mainstream, premium, luxury—it’s an exciting opportunity for experienced travelers who may want more than what a traditional cruise can deliver. More interested in traveling than cruising, they may still prefer the comfort and convenience that only a cruise ship can deliver in some exotic locales. Azamara Club Cruises gives this underserved group of travelers what they want—a cruise experience that’s a bit different. Not quite luxury but more than premium, Azamara offers a deluxe cruise with concierge-style amenities for which you’d have to upgrade to a suite on other cruise lines.

In addition, since its launch Azamara Club Cruises has added a number of more inclusive amenities to passengers’ fares, with no charge for a specific brand of bottled water, specialty coffees and teas; shuttle bus service to/from port communities, where available; standard spirits, wines, and international beers throughout the ships during bar hours; and complimentary self-service laundry.

Extensive overhauls of two ships that formerly sailed for the now-defunct Renaissance Cruises have resulted in interiors that are brighter with the addition of light, neutral carpeting throughout, and splashes of bold color in the upholstery and drapes. Areas that once appeared stuffy are now welcoming, with contemporary artwork further enhancing the decor. Each vessel weighs in at 30,277 tons and carries only 694 passengers. While the size affords a high level of intimacy and makes the ships easy to navigate, there is no skimping on features normally abundant on larger ships, such as private balconies and alternative dining. Cruisers may feel that they’ve checked into an upscale boutique hotel that just happens to float.

Top Reasons to Cruise

More Time in Port.Azamara ships often spend longer days and overnights in popular and exotic ports of call and offer a complimentary evening event ashore on each voyage.
Service.Friendly but not obtrusive service, delivered with attention to detail.
Wine.Extensive wine cellars that hold limited production, small label, and rare vintage wines, along with knowledgeable sommeliers.
No Smoking.A virtually smoke-free environment; smokers on Azamara ships are restricted to a small section of the pool deck.

Is This Line Right for You?

Choose this Line If
Don’t Choose this Line If
Your taste leans toward luxury, but your budget doesn’t.
You prefer leisurely open seating dining in casual attire to the stiffness of assigned tablemates and waiters.
The manner in which you “get there” is as important to you as your destination.
You want glitzy, high-energy evening entertainment.
You require the services of a butler; only suites have them.
You insist on smoking whenever and wherever you want to.

What to Expect on Board

Fitness & Recreation

Expect dinner favorites to have an upscale twist, such as gulf shrimp with cognac and garlic, or a filet mignon with black truffle sauce.

Azamara chefs bring a fresh approach to contemporary and lighter cuisine—a reflection of what’s happening all over the United States. Even though the menus list some trendier items, there will always be classic dishes available. Prime rib and other favorites will continue to be featured on the menu.

Specialty restaurants include the Mediterranean-influenced Aqualina and the stylish steak-and-seafood restaurant Prime C. Passengers in Club suite accommodations may dine in the specialty restaurants every night of the cruise at no charge; all other passengers pay a cover charge. Reservations are offered on a space-available basis. Daily in-cabin afternoon tea service and delivery of canapés is available to all passengers.


One distinguishing feature of Azamara is a wide range of enrichment programs to accompany the destination-rich itineraries.

Popular programs include guest speakers who are experts on a wide variety of topics, including destinations, technology, cultural explorations, art, music, and design. Lectures might include how to get the best photos from your digital camera or the proper way to pair wine and food, as taught by resident sommeliers. An onboard “excursion expert” can not only help you select shore excursions based on your personal interests but also will serve as a destination guide, offering information about the culture and history of each port of call, not just shopping suggestions. Entertainment, on the other hand, leans toward cabaret-size production shows and variety entertainers in the main lounge. Diverse musical offerings throughout the ships range from upbeat dance bands to intimate piano bar entertainers.

Fitness & Recreation

In addition to a well-equipped gym and an outdoor jogging track, features of Azamara’s fitness program include yoga at sunset, Pilates, and access to an onboard wellness consultant.

Both ships offer a full menu of spa treatments, and an aesthetics suite featuring acupuncture, laser hair removal, and microdermabrasion. An outdoor spa relaxation lounge with saltwater therapy pool is complimentary for suite guests and those receiving spa treatments. Passes for other guests are available for $19 per day or $99 per cruise.

Key cruising tips

Azamara doesn’t quite hit the luxury mark, but it is a high-end product at a more affordable price.
In addition to complimentary wine and beer served with meals, standard alcoholic beverages are also included in the fare.
The line is beginning to add more shorter cruises of less than 10 nights, but they are still the minority of sailings.
The best place to relax is the covered patio area near the pool, furnished with comfortable, oversized loungers and other seating.
When Azamara acquired its ships, it converted 48 standard staterooms into spacious Sky suites with more amenities for lower fares than those on true luxury lines.

Your Shipmates

Azamara is designed to appeal to discerning travelers, primarily American couples of any age who appreciate a high level of service in an unstructured atmosphere.

Dress Code

Although passengers who choose to wear formal attire are certainly welcome to do so, there are no scheduled formal nights. The nightly dress code is simply “sophisticated” casual—a jacket and tie are never required, but you may see that many men who are accustomed to wearing them will do so anyway.

Junior Cruisers

Azamara Club Cruises is adult-oriented and not a good choice for families who depend on the availability of childcare. The ships have no facilities or programs for children; older teenagers, however, might appreciate the diverse itineraries and well-stocked library.


Gracious and polished service throughout the ships is extended to every guest. Suite accommodations are served by a butler, who will assist with unpacking/packing; delivery of room service, plus afternoon tea, evening hors d’oeuvres, and complimentary cappuccino and espresso; shoe-shine service; and booking assistance with spa, shore excursions, and specialty dining. Stateroom attendants work in teams, and routine stateroom cleaning is done by an assistant steward, much as on other cruise lines.


Housekeeping, dining, and bar staff gratuities are included in the fare.

Past Passengers

Once you’ve sailed with Azamara Club Cruises for the first time, you will automatically become a member of Azamara’s loyalty program, “Le Club Voyage,” and receive benefits commensurate with the number of cruises you’ve taken, including such things as onboard bookings savings for future cruises and free Internet minutes. Adventurer members have been on at least one Azamara Club Cruises cruise. Explorer members have sailed five to nine cruises and get more perks, including an invitation to a senior officer’s cocktail party, and a complimentary bag of laundry washed, dried, and pressed per week. After 10 cruises, you become a Discoverer member and can take advantage of expanded Internet minutes and other perks. Azamara Club Cruises also offers Reunion Cruises that feature exclusive members-only benefits, activities, and a private, complimentary excursion during the sailings.


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