We booked our first cruise with Azamara due the ports of call in Thailand and Vietnam, the size of The Journey and the extended stays in some ports.
Having been in Singapore recently we joined The Journey on our first day after arrival. Although we had a pre-booked time of after 13:00 we had no problems booking in at 11:30 AM. However problems with our cabin number resulted in check-in taking twice as long as it should have and it went downhill from there! We had been switched from our original cabin and needed to go to Guest Relations after boarding for our correct cabin details and key cards. Our luggage arrived OK but we did get one bill for laundry from our original cabin number. This was corrected but we were disappointed this needed to be chased by us after dealing with Guest Relations already!
We eventually settled into cabin No 8051 with Earl & his team really looking after us well during our stay. The cabin had plenty of room with a small sofa and lots of wardrobe space. The one downside we found was the typical shower curtain which always finished up sticking to you.
The ship itself, being Mid sized, was easy to move around and very inviting.
We usually had breakfast in the Windows Cafe where the food was good and the service excellent. Lunch was either in Windows again or the Pool Grill and dinner in the Discoveries Restaurant where we never failed to get a table for two. The service in all the dining areas was excellent and the food good enough for us not to consider the Aqualina or Prime C restaurants.
The bars were all comfortable but we usually found ourselves in "Dale's bar and grill" AKA Discoveries Restaurant being entertained by Terry and his guitar. Special mention for Dale and Elijah who were fantastic and really looked after us, running the bar like a well oiled machine.
The shows were OK but not always to our taste so we dipped in and out of them but we thought Eric, the Cruise Director, was excellent and a bundle of energy.
There were guest speakers and quizes to keep you busy during the day if you weren't exhausted from all the excursions. We booked the excursions we wanted well in advance with Azamara and made some fantastic savings on the brochure price. We enjoyed most that we went on and found all the guides well informed and entertaining. The one exception was the Azamazing Evening which struggled due to transportation problems to the venue during Bangkok's Friday rush hour. Having said that, friends we made on the ship really enjoyed it so, like everything, personal taste differs. On the days we did our own thing we found the FREE shuttle buses plentiful and centrally located for drop off/pickup.
I would apologise for the number of "excellent"s and "fantastic"s but every single one and probably more were well deserved. The Azamara Journey will be our default option from now if their itinerary is anywhere near what we are looking for.