Our first cruise and what an excellent choice we made! We found the whole experienced exceeded our expectations and found the ship, stateroom and staff to be all exceptional. We had booked a Guarantee Balcony A7 stateroom and were amazed to be upgraded to a A3 on Deck 7.
We ate in the Britannia, first sitting and would probably try second sitting next time as we didn't have enough time getting back from ports on some of the days and missed out on afternoon tea as well. We did get to the early shows though. The food was fabulous in the Britannia and equally so in the Lido where we had most of our other meals including a couple in the evenings. We always told our waiter or our other table guests that we wouldn't be eating in the Britannia so as to not keep them waiting for their food. Most evenings in the Lido had a theme like Indian, British, Italian, Carvery etc and you help yourself so can eat what you like. Very tempting!
We only had lunch once in Britannia and were directed to a table next to the kitchen door in a practically empty restaurant. We quickly insisted that we wanted to be on a table by a window and were given one. (The view was over containers in the port when the other side of the ship had a better view, but we didn't make another fuss)
All in all, the food and service were outstanding.
We only did one excursion, the Edinburgh on your own. We booked this as the ship was supposed to dock in Rosyth which doesn't have good links to Edinburgh, but the itinerary was changed (without informing us) to South Queensferry which had a £6 train ride straight to Waverley station.
At all the other ports we did our own thing, using the Hop On, Hop Off buses to get around.
In Liverpool we booked our own FabFourTour taxi which was amazing at £50 for 3 hours. Liverpool was a really special day, apart from the rain! We also did not realise that this cruise was to celebrate the 170th Anniversary of Cunard. We missed HRH who arrived late, which meant that us and many other passengers could not get back on the ship and were stranded dockside in torrential rain for an hour. We took refuge in a nearby hotel lounge. This didn't spoil the day which culminated in the wonderful Halle Concert, Beatles Celebration and fireworks.
We enjoyed the opera and classical entertainment, also the jazz sessions. Light variety is not our thing but we did go to some of the Royal Court Showtimes which we thought were of good standard. In our opinion, the entertainment is aimed at the older age group. Although not an important feature of a cruise, the television programmes could be improved by having more choice/variety of programme and more British films and Classic films. Our pet gripe on the TV was the presenter of Rise'n'shine and the presenter of the Tours information.
All in all, we had a super holiday and are now looking forward to our second cruise on Azamara Quest.