My sister and l arrived 3 days early so that we could enjoy Miami and each other before our adventure at sea was to begin. Our arrival at the Azamara Schedualed hotel "The Epic" was better than we expected! They upgraded us so that was a bonus. I think the $150/night charged to the cruise line was about half of what we paid for the room so booking yourself might be more economical. We were given free breakfast vouchers and only had to pay $8 to include the hot selections. It was very busy at all times so the free glass of wine before supper helped to take our minds off our wait. The shuttle to the cruise port was not well known to us so was shocked when l found out 30min. before it arrived that 11am was pickup time. If l hadn't called we would have missed it.
The embarkation was a breeze! We were offered a sparkling Zinfandel on arrival and proceeded to the Windows Cafe for our lunch. Sudarto greeted us with his friendly smile and a muchacho (macchiato) and we laughed about that for the rest of the cruise! That was the beginning of a great first impression with all the staff. At first we were not pleased with our room as it was dusty and warm with a gnarly blue car blanket on the beds. Our butler was a little tardy about bringing us ice and so we never had water and wine on the rocks. One night he missed us all together, we did not like room 6078 so were moved to 7028 5 days later as the lack of sleep was getting to us. Hot and humid does not make sleeping comfortable. We had foamies put on our mattresses as we found the beds hard. Now as soon as we got to our new room the cruise started to pick up momentum!! We started to enjoy using our balcony as just opening the sliding door once would have meant 25C all day and night. We were actually able to keep the door open in the new room so that we could hear the wonderful music from the TV station with the web cam. We loved the Masterpiece Theatre channel too!! A little hiccup with the plumbing made for some stair climbing on our last night as toilets were not working.
Breakfast on the veranda lost its charm after we discovered how amazing it was in the windows cafe. Even in the Discoveries it was boring as Herring, sardines and stinky fish is not what l eat first thing in the morning. Our supper in the discovery was the best part of the day esp when the desserts were served. I only gained 3 lbs as we made sure to walk the stairs and eat lots of delicious fruit and good for you oatmeal with ground flax in the mornings. We loved the lamb kabobs at the pool grill and found the staff very hard working and friendly. The ice-cream was so yummy and l ate sorbet at least 3 times a day. Fresh fruit and the excellent quality of food made for less waste and made guilt free foraging a daily adventure.
The smaller ship was a first for me and it won't be my last. We met so many wonderful people and danced together and laughed till our faces and sides hurt! The Musical trio of Mickey,Larry and Dallas made the cruise so special as they entertained us by the pool and up in the Looking glass. D.J.Oleg helped us to work off our days feasting into the wee hours and his sweet demeanor and dance moves a great way to end the day. Our many friends laughed, visited, danced, ate, drank and made plans for the next day! Loved the ports, even the tenders! I think that all cruisers should experience the Azamara Journey so that they will have the chance to meet wonderful friends, friendly crew, listen to great music and dance, drink free specialty coffees with no hassles if you ask for soy milk!!! and get to know islands that are hidden gems. The front desk staff were very helpful and always attentive to our needs. So many activities on sea days made for a relaxing cruise. Now if there was a way to stop all the seat saving then everyone could enjoy basking in the sun! The sanctuary was great but there too was lots of seat saving so we just moved the books to another lounger. We enjoyed the shower in the sanctuary as our room was so hot.It was worth the $100 for a shower curtain that doesn't hug!!! I bought an underwater camera on board but was disappointed when l was unable to use my 20 free photo downloads as the picture machine was ancient. Ronaldo was very helpful and accommodating and should get cudo points for having to wear the dolphin costume our in the sun!!! Loved the feeling that l was on a non smoking cruise!! Loved Azamara! Loved Bequia, Gustavia, St.Johns, and St.Kitts!!!!