Europe is experiencing a huge uptick in interest and CP Travel Ambassador Charles Russell got a chance to sail on the Pre-Inaugural of the brand new Azamara Onward and came back with memories for a lifetime.
What specific cities and /or countries did you visit? Barcelona, Marseille, Portovenere, Monte Carlo
What was your favorite memory from this trip? Unusual for me, but the Pre-Inaugural of Azamara Onward took me to 4 distinct cities in Europe I had never visited before. It was a whirlwind of a trip but my top 2 memories from this trip were 1) visiting Antonio Gaudi's architectural masterpieces in Barcelona and 2) visiting 2 of the villages that make up "Cinque Terre" where Azamara presented their AZAmazing Day.
Top excursions and landmarks/sites to visit: Familia Sagrada in Barcelona is absolutely breathtaking, I'm glad I hired a guide to take me to see as much of the city as I could on my arrival/embarkation day.
Top 5 Tips and recommendations for this trip:
1) If you're visiting someplace for the first time; hire a knowledgeable guide. My guide in Barcelona made it look like there was no one else at the cathedral in my photo (there were thousands of people EVERYWHERE).They'll make sure you have the best experience possible.
2) Know and articulate your wants, desires and expectations in destination well in advance. It will make your experience go from adequate to exceptional.
3) Travel with a brand that has build loyalty with their consumers. Ask what the repeat travel percentage of passengers is.
4) Sleep when you can, there's LOTS to see and do and being well rested makes all the difference. Traveling with Azamara makes this much easier with more late departures from ports of call and some overnight stays also.
Did you travel via cruise ship? If so, please describe the experience and some of the standout features that you ere excited about.
I was on the Pre-Inaugural Sailing of Azamara Onward April 28th - May 2nd, 2022. Azamara did a phenomenal job of creating a special "AZAmazing Day" in Portovenere, Italy ... We arrived at by tender and were welcomed by a blue banner exhorting us to "Have an AzAmazing Day." I could hear a pianist play soothing classical music as I took in the brick sidewalks and colorful, skinny buildings of the small fishing village.
Tents shaded several tables of locally made food, including pizza, cheeses and pastries, along with wine, Aperol spritz and lemonata that I could carry with me as I roamed. Up the path to the Church of San Pietro, an opera singer and a pianist evoked in me the same sense of awe I would feel in an opera hall, if not more so from watching them perform before walls made of ancient stone.
Elsewhere, a trio of saxophonists played in a courtyard nestled between shops as I sampled pesto and shopped for gifts for family members. The Onward White Night was an excellent way to end our journey with an open-air soiree for dining on steak on lobster to the music of a live band. This is NOT your average barbeque on the pool deck!
What makes this destination a must-see in your opinion? I never get tired of exploring in Europe and finding new favorites. I can confidently say that I look forward to sharing my experiences in Barcelona, Marseille, Cinque Terre and Monte Carlo with both friends and clients to help make their trips to these destinations even better.
To book your bucket list trip to Europe, contact a Cruise Planners advisor near you!