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This article originally appeared the April issue of AGENTatHOME magazine. Subscribe here to receive your free copy each month.
Emerald Cruises’ 100-guest Emerald Azzurra is a small luxury cruise ship that really does feel like a personal yacht. It’s small enough to nose its way into lesser-visited ports that the big ships can’t enter and offers an upscale ambiance and truly personalized service.
What this small vessel doesn’t have: splashy entertainment, a casino, long lines and crowds, a late-night disco and thumpingly loud music.
Emerald Azzurra is a supremely comfortable yacht that offers a variety of activities, unpretentious local onboard entertainment such as a local dance troupe or a guitarist, as well as low-key evenings enlivened by trivia games and name-that-tune contests.
It serves delicious food, including regional specialties and top-notch everyday selections.
One thing to keep in mind: It is a small ship with great stabilizers but still can roll a bit in choppy seas. The captain shares weather reports several times a day and occasionally will alert those with motion sickness issues.
Here’s an overview of Emerald Azzurra’s features and amenities.
All 50 staterooms and suites feature a king-size or twin beds fitted with Egyptian cottons, as well as an ensuite bathroom stocked with ESPA toiletries. Also included are bathrobes and slippers, bottled water restocked daily, Wi-Fi, a personal safe, umbrella and an HD television with on-demand films and news channels.
Accommodations range in size from 182 square feet for an Oceanview Stateroom, 258 to 306 square feet for a Balcony Suite, 382 to 403 square feet for a Deluxe Balcony Suite and 648 to 669 square feet for a Terrace Suite.
The two Deluxe Balcony Suites are located on the Pool Deck and feature separate bedroom and lounge areas along with a balcony.
The Terrace Suites are located aft of the Panorama Deck and have oversized terraces, a pillow menu and the option to have two items laundered each day.
Accommodations have plenty of storage, especially in the bathrooms. The ingeniously designed vanity has a smallish countertop but tons of storage in a large under-sink space and a clever smaller drawer, a three-level set of narrow drawers on the right side of the sink and two mirrored medicine cabinets above the sink. The bathroom also has a magnified makeup mirror.
Cruise fares include airport transfers to and from the ship; all meals on board; wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; coffee machines and tea stations; water restocked daily; Wi-Fi; all airport taxes and port charges; and all onboard gratuities.
The main dining room, La Cucina, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with open seating. Breakfast is a buffet, with a menu and an omelet station. Lunch also is a buffet with pasta and carving stations. Dinner offers regional selections and always-available options such as grilled salmon or the juicy Jidori chicken breast.
The Aqua Pool Café, located aft near the outdoor pool but still partially protected from the weather, offers light breakfast and, at lunchtime, salads, sandwiches, burgers, flatbreads and gelato.
Emerald’s travel advisor portal includes an online booking tool, current offers, a training program, brochures, sales team contacts and signup for webinars and events.
Theresa Norton, editor in chief of AGENTatHOME Magazine, covers the cruise industry for TravelPulse.com.
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