Whilst we all enjoyed our holiday on the Azura in different ways, we would not choose to cruise on this ship again. Our journey down by coach and embarkation were fine. We were thrilled with our stateroom with balcony and the food and service were superb. We enjoyed the Glasshouse, Sindhu and 17. Mr. Dsuazo, the manager of the Oriental restaurant was outstanding in organising some wonderful meals for my daughter as she has a gluten and wheat intolerance, and I can't thank him enough for ensuring that she could enjoy her meals as much as we did.
The main problem we found with Azura was it's size and the amount of people. Some areas felt dangerous at times, such as the galley visit when people were crowding down two staircases and also coming out of the lifts it was totally intolerable. We tried to avoid the melee from then on by choosing carefully where and when we went to popular areas.
The only swimming pool that is heated and quiet enough to actually swim in is the in the spa area which we were unable to access as this area was fully booked. It felt as if we were on a ship that had 1st and 2nd class passengers.
The deck was narrow and it would have been nice to have been able to walk completely around the ship. My son and daughter found the gym far too hot as this area has no air conditioning despite the rest of the ship being as cold as a chill cabinet in Tesco.This could be a serious problem in hot climates. They were never able to play tennis, table tennis or any other of the sports advertised in the brochure, due to the activities organised by the children's clubs.
Some trips were excellent but Santiago di Compestela was a disaster and our luxury trip around La Palma was marred by the fact that our two scheduled walks were cancelled (even though another trip which my son went on the same day accessed the areas which were supposedly closed) which meant that we were driving pretty aimlessly around the island for 8 hours without the 2 hour walks we were promised. The area we stopped for lunch was littered with paper and dog mess. (the rest of the island was spotless!!!). The trip to the toboggan run in Madeira was badly organised with long queues in the heat. On return to the ship it took about an hour queueing to get back on the ship by which time the restaurant was closed. People in wheelchairs were the last to embark as an adequate gangway had not been provided. However the shuttle buses we used were excellent, efficient and on time.
We did however have a good holiday with lots of happy memories. The Azura has something for everyone, it just wasn't for us and most regular cruisers we spoke to recommended the Aurora if we are ever lucky enough to cruise again.