Check-in was a breeze at Civitavecchia, with the usual opportunities at check-in to book in the specialty restaurants. If you are at all interested in the "Chef's Table" wine dinners in Prime C, book as soon as possible. We missed out on the French night, but had a wonderful dinner on the Italian night, with 7 courses plus top-end paired wines. The Executive Chef stopped by several times, and the sommelier hosted the evening, which was alot of fun with just 6 guests plus two ship's officers. It's nice to see how these dinners have evolved since our first cruise on Azamara back in 2010. Well worth the $90/pp supplement. Prime C and Aqualina continue to put on a great menu. We only dined in the Discoveries MDR once, but it too, was great.
The Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle was nice, with the Hotel Director and Staff, CD, and Club Voyage director hosting. Plenty of complimentary cocktails and hot, passed hors d'euvre during the event. About 15 people attended and the crew went out of their way to get to know the CC members.
Capri was skipped due to unsafe tender operations, but we had an extra day and night in Sorrento instead. Capri was just a short ferry-ride away for folks who couldn't miss it, but there is plenty to do and see in Sorrento as well!
There was a champagne brunch hosted by the officers in Aqualina for Explorer level members mid-way through the cruise which was a nice touch. Aqualina is a such a beautiful setting for brunch, and it was very well executed. Russ the CD, even came around to each table with made to order waffles, and the bubbly flowed throughout. Other Explorer recognition we received included a nice bottle of champagne in the room, free laundry (one bag for the room), and 150 minutes of free wi-fi for each of us.
The AzAmazing evening was a beautiful classical concert at Villa Rufolo in Ravella. Would not have missed it for the world! That being said, getting there was a challenge, as all 490 guests who signed-up had to tender ashore, and the coach ride from Amalfi to Ravella left alot to be desired. We spent twice as much time on coaches as at the event, including a 1 1/2 wait for our return coach after the concert ended. As suite guests, we thought being assigned to the last coach in and last coach out wasn't quite up to par with Azamara experience.
There was a White Night party the first night of our stopover in Sorrento. Beautiful evening - upward of 50% of guests dressed in white. The pool deck was nicely decorated, and there was a very well-done Mediterranean buffet...we know the mussels were fresh at the made to order action station, because we saw the crew bringing them on board that morning as we tendered. All of the food was delicious - fresh grilled calamari steaks were my favorite. In addition to shipboard entertainers (the band and singers, piano player) a local tenor came aboard and did several solos of well known Italian Opera - nice touch. The ship's top officers also put on a show by making crepes suzette to order.
We will definitely be sailing on Azamara again...thanks to Captain Smith, Philip, Russ, and most especially to Ravin our truly AzAmazing butler for another great experience.