Key Blogs · London Calling

London calling – Azamara Pursuit-life aboard

Comfortably installed in my balcony cabin, I took time to tour the ship and inspect other cabin types.By far my favorite cabin category are the two Spa cabins on deck 9 forward (pictured above). Since there are just two, I recommend booking early to snap one.

These are closely followed by the club continent suites of which there are 32 on Pursuit.To stay in shape and work off calories from the delicious meals served, the fitness center is state of the art with top notch equipment (see images above).

What a treat – the naming of the ship

Life raft drill completed, guests gathered in the main lounge for the naming ceremony at 5PM local time.  Complete with Color Guard and the traditional smashing of Champagne, the Azamara Pursuit was christened with two god mothers, Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio and Lucy Huxley, both legends in the travel industry.

Meet the God Mothers

 

 

 

Key Blogs · London Calling

London calling – Azamara Pursuit continued

This vesssel’ illustrious past includes its original construction as the Renaissance ship #8 with delivery into service coinciding with the company’s bankruptcy. After two years of sitting idle in St. Nazaire France, she sailed shortly for Hellenic before joining Princess Cruises as the Pacific Princess.

Eventually she was rechristened as MV Adonia with P&O in Australia before being sold in 2017 to Azamara. 8 months worth of dry and wet dock completely transformed the ship into the contemporary Pursuit. The refurbishment included $11 million in ecological enhancements from scrub filters for reduced exhaust to state of the art recycling and osmosis equipment for exceptional clean water.

By eliminating the casino, Pursuit now boasts a large and cozy lounge on deck 5 called the Den. This space quickly emerged as “the place ” to be.

Further enhancements to the staterooms include new ultra-comfy bedding, calm and warm color scheme and charging ports for any and all types of electronic gadgets used today.

My favorite stateroom is one of 8 owner suites aft of the vessel with corner balcony. Perfectly situated and spacious, this is where you want to stay.

There are also two new Spa suites on deck 9 that are worth looking at – complete with hot tub and rain shower overlooking the ocean.

All in all, this is the perfect size ship for intimacy without being too small. I can highly recommend it for guests that seek tranquility and style over. Hustle and bustle.

Special nights like the “White Night” held during sailings (weathers permitting) are social highlights aboard.

Azamara’s points of distinction include overnight and longer stays in port for local discovery; inclusive beverages; gratuities and exclusive Azamazing Events on each sailing.

My 2 night stay on board was pleasant beyond reproach and I cannot wait to return for a full voyage soon.

I leave you with a bouquet of fireworks as this series of my blog is coming to an end.

I plan to return soon with more adventures…

Key Blogs · London Calling

London calling – on board Azamara Club Cruises

After a lovely weekend of inspiration and enjoyment, it is time to focus on the primary reason for my visit to the UK in the first place.

I left my hotel and headed back to Heathrow airport for transfers to the port of Southampton to board the Azamara Pursuit.

Once aboard, the ship crew welcomed us with smiles and the obligatory flute of champagne. This small ship carries just 684 guests and was completely refurbished from the ground up remains one of my favorites. Just big enough to feel that you are on a cruise ship and yet intimate enough to make it your home away from home.

Stay tuned for more on my short 2 night journey aboard.

Key Blogs · London Calling

London calling – Tina I want an encore!

What a show! Time flew by with this performance that takes you through her life from being a little girl in Nutbush TN to the star she became by sheer grit and determination against all odds.

#Tinathemusical

In my assessment, the show strikes the right balance of hardship and domestic abuse to get the audience bought in. It portrays the record deal and related struggle to produce Private Dancer in 84 honestly and powerfully. It also artfully weaves in her developing romance with Erwin Bach whom she lives with now.

The play ends with concert level quality live performances of “Simply the best,” “River deep, mountain high” and “Nutbush city limits.”

Verdict: worth a trip to London? Emphatically yes. Tickets now open till February 19.

Key Blogs · London Calling

London calling – Tina is waiting

The highlight of the second half of today is the show Tina at the Aldwych Theatre in just a short hour. But before this treat begins, it was time for some Pride – London Pride that is.

It has become my favorite ale when in town. Brewed by Fuller’s, it has the perfect balance of hops, yeast, and wheat. Try it next time when in London or buy it at BevMo (this is not an endorsement of BevMo in any way).

What else did I do since my last post at the Tate Modern, well I crossed the Millennium bridge to St. Paul cathedral and then walked all the way back to Soho with a stop at Twinings Tea and I popped my head into the Savoy Hotel where one of London’s best High Tea’s is served. More London fun later…the show awaits.

Key Blogs · London Calling

London calling – Southbank walk with Tate Modern

After torrential rains all Sunday afternoon which altered my room jams a bit, today is a much more pleasant day. Whilst not sunny, at least no downpours. I crossed the Thames from the Strand over to the National Theatre on the South bank and walked east. Moderately crowded as it is a Banking Holiday in England today, I strolled toward the Tate Modern – one of my regular stops.

Since my last visit 2 years ago, the new wing called “Blavatnik” has opened. Designed by the famed Swiss architecture firm Demeuron & Herzog, this new 10 storey twisted tower offers lots of additional exhibit space.

Watch this fab installation that inspired me today. It is all about your vantage point as the blue line moves in dimensions and space. Enjoy!

Key Blogs · London Calling

London calling – the miles pile up

After a restful night, I took stock of my first 24 hours in London. I noticed how easy it is for me to exercise when discovering a City is on my to do list. If only it were that easy at home.

It is entirely true though, there really is no substitute to walking through London – except maybe the occasional bus ride to further enhance the experience.

My stroll today included a circular walk through Notting Hill Carnival. Although I missed the early morning Brazilian style parade from 6 to 9am and the street fair crowds of the afternoon have not arrived yet, I enjoyed the closed off streets to full advantage to take in architecture. (See the Churchill Arms pub for example)

At the end of my 6500 steps so far today is my favorite museum – the Victoria & Albert.

It’s just about noon and I am posting this from the silver and gold collection rooms on the 3rd floor. Stay tuned for more exploring later. I leave you with a fantastic gold box that just knocked my socks off.