Azamara Great Britian Cruise July 2016

Boston to Copenhagen On Azamara with my travel buddy Gail

The Azamara, 8 day, British Isles Cruise leaves from Copenhagen, Denmark, cruises west across the North Sea to Edinburgh, goes North to the Orkney Islands, west to the Isle of Skye, south-west to Belfast, Waterford, and finally Dublin. In Dublin, we disembark and fly to Paris for 5 nights.

July 2, Saturday – Our Air France flight doesn’t leave Boston Logan until 10:50 pm. Gail and I are sharing a larger bag that we’re shipping back after the cruise. We each have a separate carry on that we’ll bring to Paris after the cruise. We’ve booked a limo to pick us up at Gail’s at 7:20 to make our 10:50 flight.  We have a short layover in Paris and a flight to Copenhagen.  

On our Way

The driver is 20 minutes early but we’re ready to go. Not too much traffic on the roads or through checking/security – so far so good – then we go through to the international gates and it’s packed! Invariably our flight is delayed by an hour and we’re now talking about what we’ll do if we miss our connection from CDG to Copenhagen and the ship sails without us.  However, to put everything in perspective, we have the knowledge and means to readjust our plans if need be! If we miss the connecting flight we check for another flight Paris to Copenhagen, if we miss the ship we fly to Edinburgh to meet the ship on day 3 and spend our time there (we both love Edinburgh). Could be worse.

Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris  

No worries – we depart BOS at midnight, get in 25 minutes late, hit the long security line and the even longer immigration line in Paris, run to the gate with only minutes to spare – wow are we tired. (CDG, Charles De Gaulle airport is huge, always busy, but the signage is excellent)

I never sleep on a plane, much as I try, so I’ve been up for 36 hours. Fortunately, we arrive in Copenhagen on time, a little wait for luggage, but no immigration or customs, easy getting to the exit and into a taxi. The driver has a list handy and sees exactly where the Azamara Quest is docked and we’re there in no time. Before leaving we researched the cost of a taxi from the airport to the port (450)  and had exactly enough Kroner for the ride. The travel gods haven’t forsaken us after all. We’re here and so is our luggage.

Boarding Azamara Quest

We made it! After swearing that we haven’t brought Norovirus on board, posing for a security picture (who is that pale, exhausted person) we enter we ship. We’re late, and they’re about to start the safety drill. We don’t need our life vest, and the drill isn’t outside – good thing because while sitting in the Cabaret/theater (our designated lifeboat station) by a window we see hail coming down!!! Very weird because although it was overcast when we arrived in Copenhagen, it’s not that cold (60-65). It lasted minutes but caused quite a stir; we’re told that hail at this time of year is rare.

Our Azamara Cabin

Our cabin is the standard outside cabin size but its newly refurbished and lovely. The designer created plenty of storage space, everything fits in provided closets and drawers, luggage under the bed. The beds look comfy and I long to stretch out for a snooze – but we have a ship to explore!
First things – we apply for the full voyage Internet package so we can keep up with the family and friends and I can post. It works surprisingly well.

Our Stateroom


Leaving Copenhagen – love the offshore windmills

Light dinner

Gail and I on deck – a bit chilly but the sun is lovely

The Azamara Quest is a small ship carrying 650 to 700 passengers.  The beauty of a small ship is it can dock where the larger ships (2000-4000 pax) can’t. For instance in Edinburgh, we’ll dock at Leith harbor close to Edinburgh (Azamara offers shuttle transfers) rather than at Queensferry which is farther away from Edinburgh.   There is also a more intimate feel on a small ship and you get to know fellow passengers and crew.  Azamara fares include wine and cocktails and you can upgrade to higher quality wines and liquors if you chose.  Somehow the atmosphere is more upscale without the cost!  We’re tired but we’ll enjoy a cocktail in the “livingroom” and light dinner before heading to bed.

Day 2 – Sunday, July 4, Day At Sea

Wonderful crew

We’re not sure what time we woke up because the ship TV says 10:05, our iPhone says 9:05, and according to the ships clock it’s 8:05. Conundrum! In any case, we had a good sleep, and we’re ready to go. We’re in the North Sea going west from Copenhagen to Edinburgh. We left Copenhagen at 9 pm Sunday night, and we’ll arrive in Edinburgh at 2:30 pm on Tuesday. The sun is shining but it’s quite windy on the top level jogging track, and we didn’t dress for the weather. The gym treadmill is a good substitute, although it’s quite strange walking on a treadmill on a ship! The ship’s movement makes you feel unsteady; you need to hang on or fall over. The faster your pace, the more you feel as if you’re careening around the treadmill. The gym is small but has excellent equipment.

Catching up on sleep but taking advantage of our first day!

After a shower, we’re in time for the 10 am Jazz brunch, champagne and all. Great food, atmosphere, and service.
The ship is elegant and everything from furnishings, to decor, to food, is good quality; however, the real difference with Azamara seems to be the staff and crew. The Captain – Carl is an Irishman and very personable and funny. He’s around a lot, as are his department heads. You get the impression the crew is genuinely happy to see you and the guests are sincerely grateful for the services provided.

At dinner we met two women from Houston TX, they are doing back to back Azamara cruises (Baltic first) and had arrived in Copenhagen 11 days ago. This the second cruise, and one of them is still without luggage! She’s surviving on borrowed clothes and whatever she can find in ports. The airline has no idea where it is and won’t give her compensation until its missing for 45 days. Ya gotta love airline customer service! Never fail to disappoint.

After dinner, we head to the Cabaret to see Teacake (that’s her given name) a singer from Texas who sings Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin songs very well. Time for bed, anticipating arriving in Edinburgh at 4:30P tomorrow afternoon. Bonne nuit! 

You might like my post on arriving in Edinburgh and touring the Royal Yacht Britannia

About

I'm in my sixties with the world at my feet and thoughts mostly of "where to next?". I retired in 2017, sold my house in Massachusetts and most of my furniture and "stuff." When not traveling you can find me in Florida in the winter and Rhode Island in the summer. Travel has been a passion from a young age, over the years I've discovered I'm a traveler, not a tourist. I prefer traveling solo, with a travel friend, or small groups. Whenever possible I would rather spend time in one place rather than moving around. I'll never turn down an opportunity to go to France, but my travels have taken me all over the world. I've met some incredible people and had some fantastic experiences.

1 Comment

  • Lynn Duggan July 12, 2016 at 11:29 pm Reply

    I feel like I am with you! Looks like a wonderful time and u are taking advantage of it all…including the Gym…

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