I chose the Spice Route II from India to Singapore, via Andaman Islands, Burma, Thailand, and Malaysia, because this cruise offered, at least for me, rather exotic, unusual ports of Chennai (Madras), Port Blair, Yangon, Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand, George Town, Penang, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. I was also traveling solo, and Azamara had a solo traveler special for this particular itinerary. I'd probably never have the nerve or courage to visit India on my own, but because I had to catch the Journey in Madras (Chennai), I ended up spending four wonderful days in India, traveling around to see ancient sites, temples, and colonial landmarks.
During the cruise, there were no disappointments. Port Blair, Andaman Islands was so beautiful, Myanmar was especially a highlight to me, a fantastic experience, it was great to see the country before it changes, as like Cuba it is beginning to open up to outside world. I loved the market place in Bago, the pagodas, the colonial architecture, the Strand Hotel, etc. I didn't think I'd be interested in Phuket, but once we got there, I had a great time in beautiful Phang Nga Bay, and really enjoyed the Indonesian fishing village built on stilts adjancent to Koh Panyi island. Georgetown, Penang was a great destination, the ship docked right in the UNESCO heritage site, so we could just walk off the ship and explore the sights on our own. Kuala Lumpur was amazing, and the Discoveries Desk and tour guide helped me to connect at lunch time with a Malay friend so we could enjoy lunch together during my land excursion.
The food, the service, the crew, the fellow passengers were all great. The cruise director hosted a special get together early on in the cruise for LGBT folks, and as a result I made new friends. Finally, I initially booked an interior stateroom for this cruise, but after two upgrades, one free, and one for a modest price increase, I ended up in a Club Veranda cabin - very nice surprise.
Small but nice, quiet, cozy veranda cabin. I enjoyed using the veranda, especially for room service breakfast or just taking in the sun on the sea days. The free guest laundry is on deck 7 too, and in an equatorial climate, the laundry is an important amenity. The cabin stewards kept my room in tip top shape. This cabin is close to stairway and elevator, making it easy to get to the caberet, casino or living room, as well as to the speciality restaurants and windows on deck 9, as well as the dinning room and cafe mosaica on deck 5. I did not hear any noises from above, below or beside my cabin.
Great guides, memorable experienceView All 1 Bago - The Ancient Mon Capital Reviews
Amazing place - I did the Shwedagon Pagoda by night tour. They kept the pagoda open late for our ship, so we had the place to ourselves.View All 8 Shwedagon Pagoda Reviews
Golden Glory of Yangon tour- a good one day overview of the main sights, including Shwedagon, Chaukhtatgyi, City Hall, Mahabandoola Park, National Museum, Karaweik Royal Barge and Scott Market. Enjoyed a delicious lunch at the historic and beautifully restored Strand Hotel.View All 2 Taste of Yangoon Reviews
Nice tour of Pinnacle at Duxton, the Singapore City Gallery, walk along Marina Bay, crossing Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands Mall, and the Gardens at Marina Bay. A great tour to get a brief introduction to Urban Redevelopment done right.View All 38 City Tour Reviews
Amazing, I loved the Batu Caves, the statues, temples, monkeys. My tour also included the National Museum, National Mosque, Independence Square, lunch, Petronas Tower and K.L. Tower.View All 20 Batu Caves Reviews