My first solo holiday since being widowed and I wanted an easy time. My first cruise and I chose a transatlantic crossing not realising that was a little ambitious. We had wonderful weather so it turned out to be a great choice but no one I had spoken to had heard of Azamara so had no idea what to expect. I just chose what I thought would be a restful holiday. The staff were all very loyal and I was constantly told I had chosen the best. An awful start and an even worse end made me wonder.
A change of hotel in Miami was a little scary but the Epic could not be faulted.
Embarkation was a nightmare, poor organisation and very unfriendly. I felt I might have made an awful mistake. Luckily all the wonderful passengers came to the rescue. No information from the company but a wealth from other cruisers they were all so kind generous and friendly.
The days at sea were a joy, with fine weather, good company and a wonderful crew. I enjoyed the evening entertainment, it was varied and fun. The food was wonderful, varied and generous. My only criticism would be it was a shame the main meals in the dining room at dinner were invariably cold.
There were activities to fill every hour of the day. If quizzes and bingo are your thing time will fly. I only read one book as every time I sat someone was happy to chat.
My cabin was wonderful and I was beautifully looked after. I could have sat on the balcony happily and just watched the sea. The crew were always cheerful, helpful and smiling. Concerns raised with officers were just shrugged off and ignored.
I enjoyed my shore excursions in Bermuda and Tenerife. They were well planned and enjoyable.
The end of the trip was ruined by Azamara and Monarch. We disembarked and were taken to the airport at 8 am for a 1.30pm flight. This would have been difficult at the best of times but as there was a 6 days old strike of catering staff ongoing it meant to food or drink available. For a company who say they care our welfare seemed to have been missed. A two hour flight delay meant we did not leave till gone 3.30pm and to top it all landed at Gatwick not Heathrow where all our transport and connections were based. No transport was at hand, waiting another hour or so for transport to Heathrow was not a happy prospect. I ended up fighting with a broken suitcase on the train to Watford. I was luck I could beg a bed for the night from family but not what I wanted for my first solo holiday. After a restful 13 days at sea a rubbish end.