Travelbiz on Azamara & then Riverdance!
12th August 2017 - 2:15pm
Jacinta McGlynn (Senior Reporter Travelbiz) reports: It was certainly ship ahoy when “Azamara Journey” docked at Terminal 3 in Dublin Port and many onlookers were simply amazed (doncha love it!) at the sight of this prepossessing vessel staring across at 3Arena. Welcomed quayside by Richard Twynam (Managing Director UK & Ireland Azamara Club Cruises) and Karen Sequeira (Head of PR and Marketing UK & Ireland), this felt like checking into a rather grand hotel as opposed to boarding ship! We had an informative, albeit whistle stop, tour of the ship which carries 690 passengers, so the small, personal and intimate ambience throughout is very prevalent. This is a not a cruise for the masses, this is not a floating casino. Azamara Journey is recommended for the discerning cruise lover. There is little formality in dining (there are 5 restaurants onboard), but rather the emphasis is on delicious food and an enormous effort to be hyper-local – local produce where possible and a local experience throughout.
A superb wine cellar, delightful library, spa (with private suites), gym, deck pool, 2 further up market fine dining restaurants (Aqualina and Prime C) and you get the picture (and not even through a porthole!). The Living Room (formerly nightclub) is a perfect space to unwind, listen to some gentle guitar riffs or a piano solo and enjoy the terrific views of Dublin port. In the bright sunshine of a July evening, the Liffey gleamed and shimmered ultramarine, the sky surpassed itself in shades of cornflower blue and the Aviva Stadium dramatically etched the skyline, nearly outdoing the bridges spanning the river. This is how Azamara wins over its competitors – a smaller ship has better parking and therefore enjoys prime viewing spots. On to the Azamazing evening where we enjoyed the most amazing (here we go again!...) performance of Riverdance at the Gaiety Theatre. Courtesy of Azamara, this fantastic performance was especially for invited guests (Travelbiz and colleagues!) and Azamara clientele. A night of spine-chilling dance, synchronicity, musical excellence (the bodhran player is world class) and stage sets, Riverdance is a theatre extravaganza where Ireland and Irish talent is perfectly showcased. A standing ovation to the performers and, naturally, to Azamara - thank you to Richard and Karen and thunderous applause to all the Azamara crew. Sail on Azamara and hail to the luxury boutique vessel which makes cruising sophisticated and sexy!
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