This was the first cruise we've been on since Renaissance went out of business.It was deja vu getting on the Journey as it looked exactly like the R6! Embarkation was a breeze. We were in our cabin, champagne in hand, by 12:30 pm for a 5:00 pm sailing. Our cabin was almost at the very front of the ship on the starboard side. This is because we booked a guarantee, so we didn't get to select our exact location, but it was a lot cheaper that way! The cabin was well-appointed and I was surprised at how good the lighting was, contrary to reviews I had read. Our butler came to greet us, but I have to say that I wasn't impressed with his service. We barely saw him and he didn't really go out of his way for us. However, the steward who actually cleaned the room was wonderful and attentive.
We were in cabin 7009. It's very far forward on the starboard side. The cabin is a bit small, but adequate for 2 people. We had plenty of storage space,although they could probably add an additional dresser somewhere. The verandah was very nice but we were able to see our neighbor through the divider. We only had a neighbor on one side of us because the room on the other side had a porthole. The bathroom is small but has good shelf space. The shower is ridiculously small. The cabin was quiet even though there was some sort of work closet across the hall, but you couldn't hear anything inside the cabin. There are staterooms above and below, so no noise from casino or clubs. The only noise comes at around 6:30 or 7:00 am when they drop anchor. The vibrations are really loud, but we were already awake, so it didn't really matter. If you like to sleep in, it's a problem. Also, since the cabin is very far forward, you feel the motion from the ocean, so not a good place if you get sea sick. Luckily, we had calm seas.
The staff, overall, is exceptional. So many of them knew our names by Day 2. We were often asked if everything was OK and they went out of their way to help us. We also really enjoyed the other passengers. Most of them were interesting, well-travelled and delightful company. Although we were among the younger set (46 and 49), we felt very comfortable.
The food was good, but I wouldn't consider it great. Coming from New York City, we are bit spoiled. Prime C was excellent, Aqualina was good, Discoveries was hit and miss. I had some good meals but some really bad ones too. The wine list is excellent. The coffee is even worse than I expected. We ended up buying coffee at the Cova Cafe every day, where they make good espresso and cappucino. They really need to fix this. The ship is spotless.
The entertainment was OK - nothing spectacular, but we were so tired at night, that we didn't really care.
I would recommend highly Azamara to others.