None of the rental car companies allow you to drop off a rental at or near the pier, so we returned it to the airport and took a 24-dollar cab ride to the Port of Miami.
Azamara is using the other side of the complex away from the usual piers. It's the first right after going over the causeway.
Check-in was quick, but we were surprised when our travel companion was upgraded to a balcony and we weren't. We were surprised because we had sailed with Royal Caribbean/Celebrity more often.
The rooms looked brand new and the ship looked great. The food was well above average, maybe the best we've had. I particularly liked the spicier Indian, Thai and Mexican dishes they had occasionally.
This was a Freestyle-type cruise. I like the idea, but I think the service suffers. Don't get me wrong, the service was very good, but maybe just a notch below fixed-time dinner seatings. It also may have been the fact that the crew had only been together for 4 or 5 cruise before ours.
We went to some new ports. Mayaguez and Ponce in Puerto Rico don't get many cruise ships yet. So they really tried harder to make our visits enjoyable. We particularly liked the free drinks on the pier that some of the liquor companies provided.
My only complaint was that I couldn't get to the town of Samana in the Dominican Republic without taking a tour.
The best part was the small number of passengers. With only 700 guests aboard, very few things were ever crowded.
We will definitely consider Azamara for future cruises.