We arrived at the port and the Azamara/Celebrity/Royal Caribbean was the first parking structure. I pulled up to the terminal and was greeted by a friendly porter who asked our cabin number. We told him and he said I will take care of your luggage. He escorted my wife to a seat to wait for me until I parked my car. I drove into the parking area. Parked and walked across the road to meet my wife. We entered the terminal and only one person was online. We were greeted by a friendly person who did the paper work and gave us our photo boarding passes. We walked onto the ship and were greeted by the friendly staff. They escorted us to our cabin. We were told the butler would meet us later. Ronald did and was friendly and informative. We proceeded to the beautiful buffet on deck nine. Everything looked good and tasted fresh.
On the cruise:
When we got to St. Barts everything was closed and there was no notification to the passengers. The parade was very nice and ran a little late. Passengers were afraid to stay to enjoy it. The time to depart could have been delayed for an hour. We were so close to our next port we could have made up the time.
Religious services: It was Ash Wednesday. The town and the church were closed. Why didn't Azamara have church services for those who wanted to attend? This was very bad and those people will remember this and tell others. The Azamara cruise should have issued a notice before we went ashore in Fort De France aka MARTINIQUE that all the stores were closed for a holiday. We were at the dock that was about 1.5 miles from town. There was a dock right in town. Why didn't we dock there?
The Fresh flowers in the room and the beautiful Orchards on the tables and all around the ship were a plus. The ladies were given a Red Rose on Valentines Day that was very nice.
The buffet had a very good selection. We found ourselves dining up here most of the nights. I was very impressed with Michael Peterson the head chief of the buffet. I sent in a negative comment about the first Caribbean night. When he saw me at the buffet getting a stir fry he said, Hello Mr. Schecter how is everything. Again on the last night he asked me the same question. He also asked me about the next Caribbean night buffet. I told him the second Caribbean night was much better than the first one. Food was very good with many great selections and decorations that gave a nice ambiance to the theme. The guitar music was very good. The entertainment team and the band made it an unforgettable night. He thanked me and said he always try to improve his department. The decorations around the buffet were interesting.
Ice cream was served in the buffet during lunch and diner was great. We think servers should wear gloves when they serve the ice cream cones. We were never told or discovered the soft serve ice cream until we found it by accident on the tenth day.
More crafts are needed. Ladies love them on sea days. There was only one craft making Valentines cards. I believe everyone would like some good craft sessions.
The movies and TV pre recorded programs were very enjoyable. Happy to be able to see some Olympic events on the TV. TNT is always a good movie channel.
Room service menu had nice selections & servings were ample. Time from order to delivery was ok.
Pedro did a great job cooking omelets in the morning at the buffet. We enjoyed eating on back deck with tropical breezes and panoramic views.
We really enjoyed dining at Aqualina Restaurant. The seafood appetizer was absolutely delicious and presentation was excellent. The dining experience was outstanding. The matradi Daniel and our waiter Frederick were excellent and accommodating.
As the head Chief Lisa adds a distinctive feminine touch to the presentation of all the food served. Her presence added more. I was also impressed by one of the chiefs at the buffet addressing me by my name.
Sanitation aboard the ship was very good with Purell dispensers everywhere food was served and other places. At each place we boarded the tenders and after each tender ride there was always a person with a bottle of sanitizer but some of the bottled ones left our hands feeling sticky.
The room butler Ronald did a great job keeping our room clean and neat. There was always fresh water and ice twice a day and new towels and soap, shampoo, and conditioner. I think it a very poor practice for a top cruise line to give badly worn and frayed bath towels. I have had at least four. They should be taken out of service and donated to Haiti or homeless shelters.
We have cruised with every major and some minor cruise lines. We have cruised more than sixty times in eight years. The entire staff was friendly, courteous, helpful, etc. The bright spots are Tony; He is without a doubt the best cruise director we have ever met. He was eager to set up a Military Veterans meeting at my request. He provided coffee, tea, cookies and more. He is bright, energetic and talented. He did a great job of entertaining everyone at his one man show with the assistance of the Dan Redner playing the piano. He is an excellent pianist. Lisa the activities director is very warm and friendly. She does a great job and has a great staff helping her. Oleg was there helping and did a great job with the pantomime classes. All the entertainers were very good. The Mirage trio, the solo guitarist, and Carlos Avalon were very good. We really liked JamiIa, and Antonio Salci. We did not care for the magician and the classical music by McSweny. She was very good but not for our taste. The five singers were great. The music chosen was excellent every time and the performance was outstanding.
We also like the big shows on the larger ships with the cast of talented performers. I feel I am qualified to judge the talent as I have seen the best in my lifetime. In addition my son is Jeffrey Schecter. He has been a dancer, singer, and actor and has been on Broadway in many productions as well as world wide. He has been on TV and in films. You may have seen him recently in the Broadway production as MIKE in "A Chorus Line." Also in the film "Every Little Step."