Ports :- Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Rouen, Bordeaux, Gijon(N.Spain), La Caruna (N.Spain), Gibraltar, Mahon(Menorca), Barcelona.
The outstanding features were :- *The high standard of food in the free dining areas -- Window's Cafe for self service buffet and Discovery restaurant for Waiter Service. We didn't try the 2 speciality restaurant ($15 cover charge), but we didn't feel we needed to. * Free house wine in dining areas. * Exceptional level of waiter service -- just ask for Eurich ! * Very friendly atmosphere, clearly a happy ship where, without exception, all of the crew were well trained and pleased to satisfy their guests. The captain gave his daily update from the bridge and he and his senior officers were easily approachable and often to be seen about. * A small ship with only about 370 guests on our voyage, so it was easy to make friends and get around. * Our regular ocean view stateroom was quite spacious and larger than I've experienced on other ships e.g. NCL Jewel. * High level of attendant service of Stateroom. Daily Fresh fruit, flowers and bottled water. Nothing too much trouble ! * Delightful lounges especially the "Looking Glass" which served "elegant" tea (i.e. High Tea if you're British) if you for some reason you still felt peckish. The Mosaic lounge offered snacks and drinks all the time and a harpist and a piano crooner some of the time. * No hassle or high pressure sales techniques in the bars and lounges. (Unlike our NCL experience). Because gratuities are included in the up-front price the staff don't need to be rooting for tips all the time
*The cabaret lounge has a small stage but is all the more intimate for that. There were no big shows but there were at least three outstanding single entertainers who gave 50 minute shows each -- conjurer, classical pianist and "Nat King Cole" vocalist.
For those that want it there is a casino and an art exhibition, but since I don't gamble and for the life of me I don't understand why you would go on a cruise to buy a painting, I didn't use these facilities.
Overall, an excellent cruise and outstanding value for money.
This is a delightful small island with Mahon being the second deepest natural harbour in the world -- after Pearl Harbor apparently ! It's only about 10 miles North to South and 25 miles East to West with Mahon, the present capital, in the East and Ciutadella, the old capital, in the West.
We took an Azamara bus excursion round the island which made about 6 stops for photo opportunities ranging from 10 minutes to 1.5 hour in Ciutadella. The guide was an English women who lives in Menorca all year round and she was very informative. Well worth the 37 Euros each.
Bordeaux (Rating 5) ================= Very impressed with the architecture and cleanliness of this City. It doesn't appear to be on the itinerary of many cruises perhaps because it is only accessible to smaller ships -- one big advantage of the Azamara ships.
Gijon (Rating 2) ============== Least said the better
La Caruna (Rating 3) ==================== OK but nothing special to write home about