Our traveling party consisting of two couples arrived at the dock just a few hours before departure. By the time we arrived the long lines were gone, we sailed through the check-in process that sometimes can be an anxious time for folks pushing to get to the first buffet, or grab the best sun chair on deck. The four of us are in early 40s, and we were some of the youngest bunch aboard. Though we have sailed numerous cruise lines like Celebrity, Windstar, and Norwegian in the past, we thought that Azamara might be the right combination of "free-style" atmosphere, the benefits of great food and luxury on board. This was our first room with a veranda. It was a nice place to sit down with a hot cup of coffee to start your adventurous day on land. The rooms were well appointed, and all the amenities were in place, including plush bathrobes and slippers. The rooms were clean, and items like soap and towels were replaced promptly. Staff were friendly, there were many opportunities to overindulge in the many fine food selections throughout the day. So, we made several trips to the gym to work off the second and/or third dessert that we had many nights. The dinners were the highlight; overall we were pleased with what we had. On our 7-day cruise, one or two meals stood out, and the rest were fair. No meal was inedible. One downside was that were promised to eat in each of the smaller "specialty restaurants" at least once for a small $5.00 fee for the tip. We did get to eat in one of them, but the next day we went to make a reservation for the other restaurant for any available time only to find out that it was booked for the rest of the cruise-very disappointing. Because the Journey is a smaller ship, getting off and on the ship was smooth. We chose not to do the ship tours, but instead stayed together as a group of four. A taxi fare is cheaper, and riding on the local trains was fun. We saw things at our pace, and loved the freedom. It was easy to catch a train, and go in any direction to see what we wanted to see. We watched one show after dinner, and it was entertaining, but our group would rather linger over our meal and relive the day's events, then start planning the next.
The staff was effective, friendly, and worked well as a team from our vantage point. Journey was a big enough ship that there was plenty to do, but small enough that you don't feel pushed or pressured to go with a group of people because that was the thing to do.
As with most cruises, there is limited time, so choose smartly on what you want to do. One could go shopping for jewelry for the 100th time in this woulderful port, or instead sit at the local cafe and visit with the locales. Instead of the stuffy motor coach, how about a scooter ride around the island.
No matter your adventure level, or desire to rest and relax, Azamara allows you that freedom at a reasonable price.