We were looking forward to a great cruise experience on the newly created Azamara Line. This was my 20th cruise so I was anxious to experience an upscale cruise. I couldn't quite tell what made the cruise "upscale" our butler was merely a room steward in a tux. The dining room food was good but not as good as some other ships and comparable to most. The size of the ship was very nice and the open seating dining with no dressup nights was very nice. I had sailed on the Paul Gaugain the previous year and had expected a similar experience. But this did not compare.
Cabins are small, the first cabin we were in the bathroom was moldy. I complained and it was cleaned somewhat but the dirty toothbrush was left on the sink. We were moved to a different cabin. The restaurant service was excellent at times and poor at times. The buffet was never crowded and the food was quite good but the concept of no trays was something I did not like. Carrying your coffee cup to the table, then getting your first course, then getting up to refill your coffee, hoping your dishes wouldn't be cleared (which did happen), while you were getting something else was a problem. Toward the end of the cruise carafes of coffee were placed on the table which was a help. The small pool bar which was open during the afternoon would become very crowded and usually only one person manned it, the crowd became very aggressive.
The public rooms were lovely and pool area was very nice. Almost never a problem finding a lounge. The entertainment was OK but the seating arrangement made it extremely difficult to see the stage.
We had booked a prepackage which included airport transfers. We, as well as many others whom we met outside the airport, were not met and had to arrange our own transfers to the hotel. In our case our luggage did not arrive with us and we really needed the cruise representative to make sure that when they did arrive they would be sent to the ship. The concierge at the hotel tried to contact the local representative for cruise line all day with no one answering. We also originally purchased transfers to the airport from the ship with our original booking. When we were sent the information regarding shore excursions, we booked the one day trip to the Falls and the Full day in Buenos Aries with airport drop off. The Falls trip was cancelled and when I went to Guest services the tell them I had paid for a transfer which I wouldn't be using because the excursion included airport drop off I was told to turn in my voucher and they would reimburse me, but they did not know how much because the price would be less than I paid because they received a group discount. I didn't care, but when I contacted Royal Caribbean after I arrived home I was told that without the voucher they could do nothing.
All in all it was nice to get away and had I not had high expectations it would have been a good cruise. One thing that made the cruise unpleasant was the majority of passengers we encountered were very disappointed and were extremely vocal with their complaints. I do feel that by the end of the 12 days the experience was improving. I just felt like I was on a training cruise and they were learning as they went along. But they did listen to complaints. Not sure I would do it again at least at the current prices.