We boarded in Athens in between daily strikes, an experience in itself. Getting on board was seamless and extremely easy. Our penthouse suite was beautiful, although smaller than it looked on the Azamara virtual tour. Our first night was dinner in Aqualina. The dinner was tremendous and ended with chocolate souffles. going to bed , we discovered it was two twin mattresses put together with a nice little trench in between the two. for those who like to snuggle, a little bothersome. They make kits to put twins together than provides you with a filler for the gap, Azamara should look into it. The first morning was a rude awakening of the deck chairs on the Windows cafe patio scrapping across the wood deck at 6:15 AM. It was a constant noise and just got louder the more awake we became. The chair scrapping continued all day until the cafe closed at 9:30 at night. We spoke with the restaurant managers and they agreed to keep the outside patio closed until 7:30 AM, so we were given the luxury of automatic wake up call at 7:30 AM every morning. I suggested felt bottoms or even wrapping napkins around the legs of the chairs , but my suggestions fell on deaf ears. Most days not an issue as the cruise was port intensive , but those few days at sea , it was quite irritable. It made it almost impossible to hang out on our gorgeous suite as it was fingers on a chalkboard every time a chair moved. We can not be the first to complain and I find it hard to believe that a multi-million dollar organization cannot come up with a solution.
We really liked the feel of a smaller ship and the ease of getting around. It was easy off and easy on at every port. Our suite came with a priority tender ticket, but we never had to use it as we never had to wait. The pool deck chairs in the sun were always occupied either by people or quite a few books were out getting sun tans all day long. We had the luxury of being to lay out on our own deck so not an issue. We have been on two other cruises and this cruise by far had the best food of any other. Great presentation and quality taste. The buffet was , for the lack of a better word , a buffet. Adequate to fill your belly and better than most. We are Casino players and like the slots, not a good thing on a cruise and Azamara is no different. We figured out very quickly that it was for entertainment only and we were not going to strike it rich. Azamara got quite a bit of our money and there wasn't one trip to the casino for us that was fruitful.
The itinerary was outstanding. Great ports and great schedules. We had a trip of a life time seeing the things we saw. We only used the ship excursions in Israel and they ran smoothly. The buses were not full and we saw a lot with experienced guides.The system of dispersing the people was seamless. When we disembarked in Rome, it was walk off ship collect your bags and get in a taxi in under 10 minutes. Great organization. Overall, it was a great experience and Azamara treated us really well. i would not ever booked again on the 8th level unless they come up with a solution for the scrapping of the chairs