Okay, Thought to try and give a good well balanced review of a 14 night back to back cruise on Azamara Journey that took me to 10 ports of call. We had booked a inside cabin and had high hopes of getting an upgrade. Immediately upon boarding we went to guest relations and asked about it and got an immediate upgrade to a Veranda cabin...for a small fee that was reasonable beyond words. This was my first veranda and I am now ruined I must say. Nothing better than sitting on the balcony in a scenic port of call at the end of the day.
The Cabin was in very good shape, neatly arranged and all space was sufficient for two women traveling together. I had to have my suitcase stored by the steward and that was taken care of promptly. The bath was tiny...but it was efficient. Not a fan of the shower curtain and the daily lamination, but it was of good quality. Bed linens were VERY comfortable and clean. Absolutely nothing negative to say in this regard. However, in the second week of our trip we had to switch cabins and this cabin(6048) was in need of some TLC which I am sure they are taking care of. The hot water in that shower was unpredictable at best and the shower curtain in that shower was a bit worn and tired. The towels were always luxurious Turkish cotton and I just loved them.
The crew was outstanding and not enough can be said about their professionalism and genuine caring attitudes. I say genuine because it is my feeling that they were not canned responses they gave to the passengers but well thought out meaningful responses. It made everyone feel special.
The food was fantastic. I ate at Prime C and Aqualina and my cruise mate like Aqualina over Prime C, while I proffered Prime C. Regardless, it was a fabulous meal and very quiet and relaxing for both restaurants. The main dining room was equally as good with the usual busy hubbub of the main dining room. Service was always good there and the wine was ALWAYS kept full. Speaking of the wine, the complimentary wine was very good however not what I expected it to be. Alot of Chilean, South African and Australian, New Zealand wines as well as a few Italian wines. I fully expected the wines to have a theme regarding the cruise such as since we were in the Med. there would have been wines only from that region. But, that is not to say this is a complaint(only a suggestion) as only a few of the wines were not to my taste and a bit heavy(I prefer red wines).
The entertainment was great. I typically do not do any shows as I prefer a more intimate surround for socializing. This is why we promptly found Jaqueline, the harpist who performs in the Martini bar nightly and Dan Daly who performs in the Cova Cafe to be a perfect fit for us and not a night went by that we did not listen to their beautiful music. There was also a guitarist that performed in the Windows Cafe nightly and played fabulously, especially Santana among many.
The pool area was very comfortable and even on the busiest days a lounger could be found. What a lounger it is too...soft and cozy and I never wanted to get up once I lay down. They seem to have a running tally of loungers they maintain and so none were in bad repair. The pool was nice if only a bit tired around the tiles...I think a sprucing of the tiles will do wonders for all the negativity regarding the pool area. The hot tubs were not really to my taste...no jets really so a bit disappointing. I imagine it is the next thing on the refurbish list but will have to be done when in dock for several weeks. They had redone the Thalassotherapy pool to our chagrin and so was not available the first week or half the second week. But, when we finally got to see it we were pleased. Beautiful deck furniture of teak and this gorgeous glass tile used on the tub itself...would be fantastic if they did the pool in the same tile.
Did not use the casino except for the cruise critic meet and greet, which is provided regardless if there is only one person or 25...so no worries for those concerned in this area. We got that straight from the Cruise Director and stated as a company policy. The Casino lounge has some very comfy chairs though and being smoke free makes it a good place to sit where it is quiet. Another good quiet spot is Michael's library. Cozy bookshelves and leather chairs with comfy sofas...I fell asleep on the sofa our last day at sea and had to make myself get up when people started floating in.
Laundry service was efficient and what we turned in the afternoon was sent back the next morning. One thing I did note was the two sea days we had one each week. They were chocked full of activities and we did get the chance to take a bridge tour which was fascinating. I was extremely disappointed that there was no guest lecturer and although both weeks were very busy itineraries I do believe there was time for a lecture in there. That is the biggest negative I have regarding the week. They did say the lecturer had been booked for the first week but had to back out. Another great activity was Zorba dancing with captain Theodoru(I just know I spelled that wrong so please forgive me Captain). He is a great fun-loving man who is warm and considerate. We got to eat dinner with him in our second week and also was fortunate enough to have two vice presidents from RCI there as well, one for hotel rest. management and one for refurbishment. They were gracious as well and wanted honest up front answers regarding what needed changing on the ship. At that point it was only the hot tubs and cold showers...We told them that they were doing a great job and to keep it up.