Having cruised on Azamara Journey three times before the ship was not unfamiliar but three weeks prior to our departure from Singapore she had undergone a "facelift" with refurbishment of some of the public areas and the Windows Cafe and the exterior repainted in very dark navy blue (some thought it was black)- A bit like Marmite (Vegemite)- some loved it some were horrified! However the new policy of wine included at lunch and dinner, all soft drinks and coffee included together with tips meant that the end of cruise bar bill a pleasant surprise.
Azamara's policy of booking and paying for shore excursions not less than a week before departure with a discount of 50% meant very good value for money. This policy is being discontinued in May but replaced by complimentary spirits beer etc. OK for drinkers but as my wife does not drink we would prefer the current system and discounted shore excursions.
Being a relatively small ship (650 passengers)makes for a country house feel and most of the passengers on this cruise were seasoned travellers looking for something different from past venues and few were disappointed.
Check-in at the cruise terminal in Singapore was very well organised and although embarkation did not start until 12.30 there was ample space to sit and wait with complimentary coffee soft drinks and snacks available.