We had cruised Oceania twice and loved the experiences but was anxious to see if Azamara could raise the bar. We definitely feel they did! Although after reading several reviews on this site this past winter I was a little skeptical. There were definitely some negative comments posted here that made me question booking the April 15 Sorrento Stopover but I am glad we did! Azamara is definitely listening to their clientele and acting upon their comments. We booked our cruise through Largray Travel (Mary Peptides) who I found online. I did our own air through Orbitz as we are committed to Delta! This was the only downer on the trip as Delta left Atlanta an hour late due to boarding a lot of standbys and finding their luggage. We therefore missed our connection to Venice and because we are talking only a couple days past Easter the first 2 subsequent flights were sold out so we arrived in Venice 9 hours late. Fortunately, Azamara picked up on our delay and had a private driver there to meet us.(even though their literature said transfers ended at 4 PM) We left the airport at 5:35 pm and sped to the dock as we were informed the Port Authority closed at 6:00. This was quite an experience as the Italians shouted at each other as to whether or not we could board as they were closedbut ultimately we did get on and everything went much smoother after that!
Azamara hosted a meet and mingle for about 30 of us and did a good job of listening to everyone's comments. It was the first time we have ever had a group large enough for one of these parties. They had a least 5 senior officers there to listen to our comments.
The itinerary of this cruise was awesome and our main reason for booking. The dining experiences in all 4 venues were wonderful. We even thought the Breeza experience much better than on Oceania. I didn't have a bad meal the whole 10 days and even some very memorable ones. One dessert (a Pavlovano, not chocolate) was outstandingtasty and very artistic! I am only sorry I did not get a picture of it!
The shore excursion staff did a nice job! We only booked 3 excursions through them and chose to book others independently in Split and Kotor. I felt the ones we did were a decent value for the money. Capri and Sorrento we did totally on our own.
The crew was outstanding and very friendly. Captain "Theo" was very approachable and seem to care very much about pleasing his quests. I loved the evening appetizers which were quite tasty and artistic and the night time pillow treats were awesome I always tried at least one before bedtime and stashed the rest in the minibar for later. Who doesn't love a chocolate covered strawberry with their roomservice coffee in the morning! Azamara you did a fantastic job we will be back!