This was our 5th cruise with Azamara in less than 4 years. We can find nothing bad to say about this cruise, but overall it seemed flat. The crew was friendly but seemed focused on their jobs more than on previous cruises where we felt that we had made friends with some of the crew.
Service in Windows Cafe was perfect. In the past, it's seemed to be a bit lack luster, but this time the wait staff was always around to offer drinks, clear dishes, etc. We had a similar level of service in Discoveries, however instead of being seated with the same waiter every night we were moved around so we didn't get a chance to develop a rapport with our waiter. The food and service in Discoveries was excellent and outshone the food and service we had in Aqualina.
Our stateroom attendants were incredible - our room was always spotless and always made up within minutes of us leaving our room.
This is the first Azamara cruise we've taken since it's included some liquor in the price of a fare. We noticed that there was hardly any bar service around the pool, or in the Cabaret Lounge in the evenings. If you wanted a drink, in most cases you needed to get it yourself. This is a disappointing change from previous Azamara cruises.
Entertainment continues to be a disappointment on the ship. Our last cruise (Antarctica - on the Journey - January 2012), the entertainment was much better and we felt that Azamara had finally invested in this part of the cruise experience. However, we did not feel that this was the case on this cruise. We heard another couple refer to the Azamara Singers as the Azawful Singers! A couple of the dancers were very talented, but were brought down by the rest of the cast. The 2 guest performers each had 2 shows, and were repeats from previous cruises. Lectures and guest speakers are one of the reasons we have liked Azamara, but on this cruise they all seemed to be scheduled during the dinner hour. Peripheral entertainment was really lacking. There was no poolside entertainment (even on the one sea day we had) and the piano player has been moved to a lounge just outside the casino that makes the main area of the ship very quiet. These changes really made the ship feel quiet, and led to us to not feeling any of the excitement and cruise feel that we look enjoy.
We had been expecting a complete overhaul of the ship when it went into dry dock late last year. However, we were told that the budget for that had been compromised because of the engine fire and the generous payouts. Some of the public areas have been refurbished and the mattresses have been replaced, but the cabins are in dire need of updating - for example, the carpet in our stateroom was stained and very worn and the sink was chipped.
Azamara seems to be evolving as a cruise line and every cruise we notice changes - some are for the better, some are not improvements. It seems with a few tweaks Azamara could be first rate ship that everyone could consistently rave about.