This was our second time on Azamara and this was just as wonderful as the first.
We had the package of included flights and transfers with Azamara and there was no problems at all.While the airport at Istanbul was a bit chaotic, once you were through immigration and security Azamara staff were waiting to direct you to the coaches. We stayed at the Hilton hotel for one which was very nice.Although not near the main tourist sites there were plenty of restaurants nearby.
We were picked up promptly next day and taken to the ship.Embarkation took about ten minutes from arriving at the ship to actually getting on,which is the quickest we have experienced.
Once again the ship was immaculate and the friendly staff certainly make your holiday feel special.It is so nice to see the ships officers around the ship,something you do not see on bigger ships.We had the best captain ever in Carl Smith,who was entertaining and informative.
We were in our cabin by 1.30 and this was our only disappointment on the cruise.We had booked an obstructed view cabin on deck 6,which it certainly was.You could just about see through the windows and through the lifeboat for a very small amount of natural light(if you were bent down at a low angle)and you needed the light on all the time,this in itself was not really a problem but the cabin layout was.We had no information that this cabin type is actually the smallest cabin type on board,the layout was awful.We had to take turns to get dressed as there was no room to move otherwise,also you could not see the television from one side of the bed, I would not recommend these cabins.That being said Edwin and colleagues did a great job with keeping it clean and tidy.
Once again our cruise director was the amazing and astonishing Tony Markey,he is the best cruise director we have had on any cruise.Also present again was the wonderfully talented Alex who really should have his own show as a guest entertainer.Both were wonderful especially on the deck parties which were very popular. We had a great show from a visiting naval ensemble.Also on board was the TV presenter Nigel Marvin who did some wonderful talks.The entertainment was very good.A big thank you to Natacha the drinks waitress from Mauritius who was efficient and wonderfully entertaining,and also to the staff in the Mosaic,who always knew what your preferred drinks were.
The ports were wonderful(although we did not get off in Romania and the Ukraine(Odessa,Sevastopol and Yalta) is truly beautiful. We had booked a few trips with Azamara at half price and the guides and trips were good value for money.
Disembarkation was again well organised and the only grumble would be the long time at Athens airport and the very tight connections from Heathrow to Manchester.
I would thoroughly recommend Azamara and we will certainly be travelling with them again.